started this petition to
The International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands
Please read the complete petition below or go to our website. There
we also explain some unknown aspects more in detail. You can find
our site with most search engines by putting "The Syrian
Petition" inside quotes.
Why this petition
is so important ?
For Muslims, Christians, Jews or Humanists it is an obligation not to
keep on standing at the side line when crimes are committed. Our
believes and philosophies also oblige us to do whatever is in our
power to prevent that crimes will happen.
As such we are obliged to react to what took place in Syria between
2011 and 2016. During that period one million people were killed in
that country. At the same time was it the stage of countless crimes
against the religious and humanitarian principles of our
If we fail to react, any would‐be dictator or military leader in
Europe, America, Asia or Africa might be tempted to commit similar
horrendous acts. This poses a major threat to peace, democracy and our future.
Particularly citizens of Western countries cannot say that the
Syrian war is none of their business. Those terrible crimes were
after all largely financed with European and American money.
By organizing this petition and at the same time effectively suing
those responsible, we want to trigger the urgently needed society
Signing this petition is thus just a first step.
But only as a movement will we be able to achieve our aims !
So please, as Muslim, Christian, Jew or Humanist : take your
responsibility and participate in our movement.
That what happened in Syria may never happen again.
Thank you so much.
complete petition and don't forget to visit our website !
By using the Ctrl + F keys, you can navigate through this document.
2 Massive crimes against humanity
3 Total Warfare as principle cause of civilian casualties, refugees
and crimes against humanity
4 Nazi concentration camp style crimes
5 Western leaders and the crime of omission
6 The European political facilitators
7 Non‐Political Facilitators
In the name of humanity and
Up to one million civilian deaths due to
indiscriminate bombing and systematic destruction of the medical care
infrastructure, more than ten million refugees, thousands of
political opponents murdered, vast city areas completely destroyed :
the oppression since 2011 of the by the Arab Spring inspired Syrian
democracy and human rights movement by the Assad regime turned into a
genocidal carnage and a refugee crisis of epic dimensions. See also
Annex 1, One million deaths.
The evidence of
systematic and on a large scale committed war crimes and crimes
against humanity is overwhelming. Their enormity represents a direct
attack on humanity and civilization. See also Annex 2, Massive
crimes against humanity.
To any decent human being,
Humanist, Muslim, Christian, or Jew, keeping quiet and doing nothing,
is no option, since it would make us silent complicit to those and
accountable those responsible (for the crimes against humanity)
(...)would constitute a major menace to the future of humanity,
civilization and world peace !"
Not holding accountable those
responsible would after all give the message to perpetrators and
facilitators that they may continue behaving in the same way. This
would constitute a major menace to the future of humanity,
civilization and world peace, since the same Syrian scenario might
happen again anytime anywhere on the world.
(...)to bring to justice the perpetrators and the facilitators of
That is why, as signatory of
this petition, we call upon the International Criminal Court in The
Hague, the Netherlands, to bring to justice the perpetrators and the
facilitators of those crimes.
As possible main
perpetrators we consider Putin, Assad and their military allies.
As military and political
leaders, they are responsible for the strategy known as Total
Warfare, which is the cause of 90 % of the approximately one million
civilian casualties, millions of refugees, massive destruction of
civilian infrastructure and crimes against humanity in Syria. See
also Annex 3, Total warfare as principle cause of civilian
casualties, refugees and crimes against humanity.
By military backing Assad,
Putin and the other military allies of Assad equally bear
responsibility for the Nazi concentration camp style extermination of
thousands of political opponents committed by Assad's troops, which
also represents a crime against humanity. See also Annex 4, Nazi
concentration camp style crimes.
As possible perpetrators we
consider those rebel groups who possibly committed war crimes and
crimes against humanity, and the governments, rulers and leaders who
are suspected of having financed and/or armed those groups.
Especially the role that the governments of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and
Qatar played in this respect, needs to be subjected to scrutiny.
As possible facilitators we
do consider those politicians and businessmen who are possibly
culpable of complicity to war crimes and crimes against humanity for
reason of criminal omission. The crime of omission concerning war
crimes and crimes against humanity being very well defined in
International Humanitarian Law. See also Annex 5, The crime of
Omission in International Humanitarian Law.
As possible main
political facilitators we consider the political leaders of those
countries of the European Union who constitute Russia's most
important trading partners. They
have like no other the political means to stop principal financial
streams that help fuel Putin's and Assad's Total
War in Syria.
They repeatedly commit grave
breaches of international law by year after year largely ignoring the
reports about the war crimes committed in Syria.
measures and actions taken by those leaders in order to stop those
and are not commensurate to
the urgency of the situation.
This makes those leaders
probably guilty of complicity to those crimes for reason of criminal
also Annex 6, The European political facilitators.
As possible political
facilitators we consider the US political leaders.
They too repeatedly
breaches of international law by year
after year largely ignoring
the reports about the war crimes perpetrated
Seen the outstanding military and
economic position of the United States of America in the world, the
measures and actions taken by the United States of America in order
to stop those crimes were and are not commensurate to their scale
and the urgency of the situation . This makes those leaders probably guilty of
complicity to those crimes for reason of criminal omission.
non‐political facilitators we consider the business
leaders of the huge energy companies that continue to cooperate with
Russian partners. By doing so they help to finance Putin's military
interventions and the crimes against humanity committed in their
wake, which makes those leaders probably guilty of complicity to
those crimes for reason of criminal omission. See also Annex 7,
"For these reasons
(...) we ask (...) to investigate and eventually prosecute, among
others, the following individuals (...)"
For these reasons, and without
claiming to provide a complete list, we ask the International
Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, to investigate and
eventually prosecute, among others, the following individuals for
their role in the crimes against humanity committed in Syria since
2011 and as described in Annexes 1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6 and 7 :
As possible main
Vladimir Putin (president
of the Russian Federal Republic, factual leader of the military
strategy of total warfare in Syria), Bashar al‐Assad (president of
the Syrian Arab Republic), Xi Jinping (president of the People's
Republic of China, military ally), Hassan Nasrallah (leader of
Hezbollah, military ally), Ali Khamenei (supreme leader of the
Islamic Republic of Iran, military ally)
As possible perpetrators :
Abu Mohammad al‐Julani (leader
of Jabhat Fateh al‐Shamn former
Al‐Nusra Front), Abu Bakr
al‐Baghdadi (leader of Daesh also known as Isil),
Tayyip Erdogan, (president of Turkey), Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
(minister of foreign affairs, Turkey), Salman bin Abdulazis (King of
Saudi Arabia), Prince Salman bin Sultan (Saudi Arabia), Prince Bandar
bin Sultan (Saudi Arabia), Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (Emir of Qatar),
Khalid bin Mohammad al‐Atiyah (Minister of State for Defence, Qatar),
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani (Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Qatar), Nouri al‐Maliki (vice‐president and former prime
minister of Iraq), Fuad Masum (prime minister of Iraq)
As possible main political
Angela Merkel (Chancellor of the
Federal Republic of Germany), Frank‐Walter Steinmeier (Minister of
Foreign Affairs of Germany), François Hollande (President of
France), Jean‐Marc Ayrault (Minister of Foreign Affairs of France),
Theresa May (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), Boris Johnson
(Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom),
Matteo Renzi (Prime Minister of the Italian Republic), Paolo
Gentiloni Silveri, (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy), Mark Rutte
(Prime Minister of the Netherlands), Bert Koender (Minister of
Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands)
political facilitators :
Barack Obama (ex‐President
of the United States), John Kerry (ex‐Secretary of State of the
United States ), Joe Biden (ex‐Vice President of the United States
and President of the Senate), Paul Ryan (ex‐Speaker of the United
States House of Representatives)
As possible main
non‐political facilitators :
Johannes Teysen (CEO
of E.ON, Germany), Kurt Bock (CEO of BASF, Germany),Isabelle Kocher
(CEO of ENGIE, France), Ben van Beurden (CEO of Royal Dutch Shell,
Netherlands), Rainer Seele (CEO of OMV, Austria), Bob Dudley (CEO of
BP, United Kingdom), Claudio Descalzi (CEO of Eni S.p.A, Italy),
Marco Tronchetti Provera (CEO of Pirelli, Italy), Rex W. Tillerson
(CEO of ExxonMobil, USA), John S. Watson (CEO of Chevron Corporation,
USA), Patrick Pouyanné (CEO of Total, France)
Brussels, December 8, 2016
One million deaths
figure of one million deaths is based on a scientifically developed
method, that makes a distinction between direct (violent) deaths and
The direct (violent) deaths
the number of direct deaths, the only figures we have are those from
NGO's and international organizations. As such, The Syrian Center
for Policy Research (SCPR) estimated at the beginning of 2016 the
direct death toll at 470,000 people. Staffan de Mistura, the UN
Special Envoy for Syria, cited around the same period the figure of
2016, the most brutal war year so far came to an end. That is why we
assume that by that time the number of direct deaths was around
high death toll is corroborated by historical comparison.
1992 and 1995, during the 3.75 years of the civil war in
Bosnia‐Herzegovina, approximately 1 % of the civilian population got
killed. It is one of the best studied civil wars of recent history.
crimes committed resemble the ones that we
have been witnessing
in Syria. The
shelling of cities, the sieges, the mass murders against
the other hand you had also some distinct differences.
The Syrian war is lasting now
for almost double as long, knows a large scale use of air
bombardments, the use of chemical weapons, a larger scale of
destruction of urban areas, a larger number of people submitted to
sieges... All this is an indication that the Syrian war knows a
higher intensity and that the percentage civilian casualties might be
higher than one percent .
A fact that is supported by
In the Bosnian war the number
of killed non‐civilians was almost double the one of civilians. In
the Syrian war the available body counts tell us a different story,
the civilian population suffering double the losses of the
non‐civilian. A pattern that rather corresponds to the
Russian‐Chechen wars (Dec 94 ‐ Aug 96 and Sept 99 ‐ May 2000 and its
never investigated or prosecuted crimes against humanity.
Within 2 years and 6 months the
Russian army killed between 5 and 10 % of the civilian population. A
circumstance attributed to the reckless air bombardments and shelling
of densely populated urban areas.
Taking the length of the Syrian
conflict (6 years) into consideration, and the fact that the Syrian
war knows extensive use of air bombardments, the figure of 500,000
violent deaths, which represents approximately 2.5 % of the civilian
population, has thus a high degree of probability, but might even be
2. The indirect deaths
statisticians and human rights organizations have been working
together in recent decades to establish scientific methods to
estimate the indirect impact of wars on the population.
Not only was this necessary out
of moral considerations : from that point of view is the distinction
between a violent and non‐violent death irrelevant. All that matters
is that a number of people died who would otherwise still be alive if
armed violence had not ravaged their communities.
But it was also necessary in
order to better organize relief efforts and assess whether and to
what extent international humanitarian law had been violated.
When a population is
intentionally cut of from supply of medication, clean drinking water,
food, heating, when hospitals, medical infrastructure are
intentionally destroyed...though the people who died as a consequence
from hardships and war related sicknesses did not die a violent dead,
their deaths were brought by intentionally, which constitutes a war
The studies that have been made
from recent conflicts show that far more people die from indirect
consequences than from direct violence. In general the ratio is
situated between 3 and 15 indirect deaths for every direct death.
In the Iraq 2003‐2007 war this
ratio was much lower : 1.7 indirect deaths for every direct death.
Variation in the ratio of
indirect to direct deaths depends on the pre‐conflict level of
development of the country, the duration of the fighting, the
intensity of combat, access to basic care and services, and
humanitarian relief efforts.
We assumed in our calculation a
ratio of 1 indirect death for every direct death, which would get us
to a figure of 500,000 indirect deaths.
This is a very prudent estimate
when we compare the brutality of the Syrian war with its numerous
sieges that locked up hundreds of thousands of people, the systematic
destruction of hospitals, medical infrastructure, drink water
stations, etc...to the Iraq war.
Note : this part was largely
written based on articles from https://www.genevadeclaration.org
One million deaths as a
consequence of the Syrian war is thus absolutely a figure with a
high probability value, but doesn't even represent the worst case
scenario : the actual number of victims could even be higher.
Massive crimes against
In Syria, since the Assad regime started
suppressing the Arab Spring inspired democracy movement, crimes
against humanity are committed on a systematic manner and on a scale
never seen in the Eurasian region since the invasion of Russia by
The moment Putin took factual
leadership of Assad's military campaign in September 2015, the scale
and intensity of those crimes only worsened.
and their military allies are held accountable for 90 % of the crimes
against humanity committed in Syria.
As a result of those crimes,
according to French medics up to 1 million people perished and 10
million people were turned into refugees, causing Europe's biggest
humanitarian disaster and refugee crisis since World War
Documented crimes against humanity, committed by
Putin's and Assad's troops and their military allies in the wake of
the total war strategy (see Annex 3), without pretending to list all
of them, are :
* famine as weapon of war
: whole cities and regions are under siege, deprived from food,
drinking water and medical aid. Hundreds of thousands of people are
under threat of death by starvation.
* systematic hampering of
humanitarian aid convoys so that food, water or medical aid does not
reach in time or does not reach at all those in need
* systematic bombing of
places where people get food : market places, bakeries
* systematic bombing of
hospitals in East‐Aleppo and elsewhere
* systematic bombing of
water stations and electric stations
* bombing of schools
* bombing of aid convoys
* the use of
indiscriminate weapons that terrorize the civilian population and
cause widespread destruction : bunker buster bombs, barrel bombs,
cluster munition, thermite bombs, napalm, chemical weapons...
* double‐tap attacks :
after bombing a certain area, bombing a second time the relief
Documented crimes against
humanity in the wake of the extermination of the Syrian political
* the Nazi concentration
camp style murdering of thousands of opposition members (see Annex 4)
Warfare as principle cause of civilian casualties, refugees and
crimes against humanity
The tactics applied by Putin, Assad and their allies in
Syria is called total war. Total war, because one doesn't only aim
the military adversary, but also the civilian population living in
the areas controlled by this adversary. In the 21st century it was
first applied by Putin and the Russian military in Grozny, Chechnya.
It's main objective is the collapse of civil society
hoping it might force the military adversary to retreat or surrender.
In order to achieve this goal the perpetrators
systematically, repeatedly and recklessly attack and/or destroy
schools, hospitals, water facilities, electricity plants, render food
provision and relieve efforts impossible or disturb them in a way
that it increases significantly the risks of dying and suffering of
rescuers and the civilian population.
includes also the large scale use of indiscriminate weapons and 24/7
bombing, which are meant to induce maximum destruction and
The total war unleashed by Putin and Assad in
Syria is the principle cause of the hundreds of thousands of civilian
casualties, the millions of refugees and the massive destructions
that were inflicted upon Syrian cities and villages.
it mainly targets the civilian population and infrastructure, Total
Warfare as a military strategy is a crime against humanity on its own
and the principle cause of crimes against humanity.
concentration camp style crimes
One of the
main causes of death
in the Nazi concentration camps was malnutrition and maltreatment.
In 2014, documents were
smuggled out of Syria, proving that the Assad regime had turned
prisons into actual concentration camps, killing opponents on an
almost industrial scale in similar conditions.
The documents were named after
the code name of the Syrian defector of the Assad regime who smuggled
them out : the Caesar‐files. They contain pictures of at least 6786
victims who died in a 2 years time span between 2011 and 2013.
For a more detailed discussion,
please read the report of Human Rights Watch, If the Dead Could
Speak, Mass Deaths and Torture in Syria's Detention Facilities,
Amnesty International published
a report on August 18, 2016 documenting the killing of more than
17000 political prisoners. Please read the report of Amnesty
International, Torture, Disease and death in Syria's Prisons,
here : https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde24/4508/2016/en/
The crime of omission in
International Humanitarian Law
first who mentioned the possibility of complicity for reason of
criminal omission to the crimes against humanity committed in Syria,
was the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, in 2014.
crime of omission means in International Humanitarian Law pretty much
the same as in ordinary criminal law : the failure to act knowing
that this failure will cause the crime to happen. Those found guilty
for this reason might be sentenced to imprisonment or other
conditions have to be fulfilled in order to be recognized as Crime
probably first, we publish
in how far they apply to the behavior of Western leaders
during the Syrian civil war.
The accused must have had a legal duty to act : check
Geneva Conventions, signed and ratified by most Western countries,
that States do all in their power to
massacres, mass torture and killing of prisoners, systematic bombing
of schools, bakeries, hospitals, use of indiscriminate
weapons against the civilian population, like barrel bombs, chemical
failure of international organizations like the United Nations or the
European Union to act, does not exempt the individual countries from
accused must have had the ability to act
their disposal to fulfill the duty "to do all in their power":
(iii) in case of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions : vest
universal jurisdiction in their courts...
absolutely the ability to use those
accused must have had
elevated degree of concrete influence : check
observers agree that Assad's war machine was essentially kept afloat
by Putin's financial and military support.
that Europe alone
through its oil and gas trade with
% of the Russian federal budget,
it is not exaggerated to postulate that Assad's war machine was
fueled with European money.
gives Europe definitely
elevated degree of concrete
economic ties between the US and Russia are dwarfed by the European
ones, so US' possibilities to exercise pressure by means of economic
sanctions were much lesser. From the other side,
through its outstanding diplomatic and economic position as a world
power, the US has other peaceful means to exercise pressure.
accused failed to act, (...)with
the consequences would occur
US and Europe repeatedly breached
international law by year after year largely ignoring the reports
the war crimes committed in Syria.
did not order their courts to investigate
imposed sanctions on the weakest party to the conflict, the Assad
regime, and spared completely those
arming, financing and participating in those crimes : Russia and
did this in full
the consequences. Since
the conflict is lasting for six
aware that the lack of timely
would lead to the continuation of the atrocities.
failure to act resulted in the commission of the crime
too obvious from September
2015 onwards, when Putin decided to engage his army more.
It heralded an unprecedented
intensity in air bombardments and crimes against humanity committed
in their wake, culminating in
as yet worst period of the
Syrian war, the assault on East‐Aleppo
end November/beginning December 2016.
leaders committed repeatedly breaches of International Humanitarian
Law by not undertaking whatever is in their power to let the crimes
in Syria stop. This renders them to our humble opinion possibly
guilty of complicity for reason of criminal omission.
Reason why we ask the Court to
investigate the part the cited politicians and businessmen played and
to eventually prosecute them.
our web page you will find a more detailed discussion of this
possible European political facilitators
incredible scale of crimes against humanity committed in Syria is
well documented and known by all political responsible actors in
It is also known that these
cruelties could not have been committed without the massive military
and financial support of Putin.
That Putin himself could not have
engaged in two wars (Ukraine and Syria) without the enormous
financial contribution from Europe, is lesser known.
Europe finances through its gas and
oil trade with Russia 35 % of the Russian Federal Budget, and through
this finances indirectly Assad and Putin's Total War strategy. It is
this strategy that, measured by the number of victims, is held
responsible for 90% of the crimes committed during the Syrian war.
But Europe refuses obstinately and pitilessly to take any
measure to exercise appropriate economic pressure on Putin, and thus indirectly
Instead Europe and its leaders
repeatedly chose to breach international law. Year after year the
reports about the war crimes committed in Syria were largely ignored.
This became again very clear on the
European Foreign Affairs Council meeting of October 17, 2016.
Contrary to public declarations and
neglecting completely Putin's role in the increase of documented war
crimes and crimes against humanity in previous months, not one
European country asked officially to take sanctions against Russia.
Some argue that Europe depends
for its gas and oil supply on Russia, and for this reason cannot act.
This is however a very poor
argument. There is enough oil and gas supply on world markets. If at
all, an import stop for Russian oil and gas would have only triggered
minor short term shortages.
Our conclusion is strait
In the light of the genocidal scale
of the crimes against humanity committed in Syria, the measures taken
by the European Union and/or the governments of its member states,
were not commensurate to their scale and the urgency of the situation.
failure of the European Union to react does not exempt the individual
governments from their responsibilities.
That is why we
call upon the International Criminal Court to investigate the
the cited European political
leaders played and
eventually prosecute them.
This for two reasons. On the one hand for
their possible breaches of
international law and on the
other hand for their
to the crimes committed in
Syria for reason of criminal
We know since the
Nuremberg trials, that business leaders too have moral obligations.
Those we name in the petition
represent Europe's and America's biggest energy companies and at the
same time Russia's most important energy partners.
These companies are so huge
that they dwarf many countries in their economic importance. To give
you an idea : the American energy giant Exxonmobil had in 2010 a
revenue of almost 370 billion dollars. Syria had at the same time
only a revenue of 60 billion dollars for the whole country. And here
we only talk about Exxonmobil. But almost every Western country has
one or more companies like Exxonmobil.
Since these multinationals are
as huge as countries, often considered as systemic, too big to fail,
their directors have easy access to their political leaders. Their
influence and lobbying power can hardly be overestimated.
We know for sure that they
lobbied apart and in group in order to secure their economic
interests in Russia.
We also know for sure that the
Obama administration pressured Congress not to issue too strict
sanctions against Russia. European governments acted pretty much in
the same way.
Given the genocidal scale of
the crimes committed in Syria, a highly immoral behavior.
As leaders of companies as huge
as countries, it is impossible that the cited businessmen were not
aware that their trade with Russia facilitates Putin's role in the
large scale crimes against humanity committed in Syria and elsewhere.
As human beings with moral
conscience these business leaders could and should have stopped trade
with Russia themselves.
For this reason we call upon
the International Criminal Court to also investigate and eventually
prosecute the cited business leaders for their possible complicity to
the crimes against humanity committed in Syria for reason of criminal