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Syrian armed Islamist group calls on Paris to release ex-official

Through Le Figaro with AFP

The Syrian armed Islamist group Jaish al-Islam on Saturday (February 1st) called on the French authorities to release its former spokesman, arrested on Wednesday and under investigation for torture and war crimes.

The man arrested called himself Islam Alloush, but was actually called Majdi Mustafa Nameh and was in France on an Erasmus student visa. Arrested in Marseille, he was indicted in particular for “acts of torture and complicity”, “war crimes” and “complicity in enforced disappearances”, AFP learned from a judicial source. In a statement published on Saturday on its Telegram channel, the group Jaïch al-Islam urged the French justice to release his ex-spokesman and to drop the charges brought against him. The group said that Majdi Mustafa Nameh had severed ties with him.

Jaish al-Islam was one of the most important opposition groups to the Bashar al-Assad regime in the Damascus region, notably Eastern Ghouta, after the start of the war in Syria in 2011. The group is accused by human rights NGOs. Jaïch al-Islam is notably suspected of the kidnapping on December 9, 2013 of the Syrian lawyer and journalist Razan Zeitouneh, her husband Waël Hamada and two of his collaborators. Ms. Zeitouneh was one of the figures in the popular uprising launched in March 2011 against the Bashar al-Assad regime, and that year received the Sakharov Human Rights Prize in the company of other “Spring” activists Arab”. She then criticized the human rights violations committed by all parties to the conflict.

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