Syrian rebels form their own judiciary
IDLIB - Anatolia News Agency
Syrian opposition has formed its own judicial system. Trials will now be carried out by the Free Syrian Army. AA photoMembers of the Free Syrian Army have formed their own judicial system in the third year of their violent bid to unseat the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Trials will now be carried out by the Free Syrian Army at a court once used by the government in the northwestern province of Idlib. Captive Syrian soldiers, as well as people involved in offenses such as stealing, are put on trial in buildings ravaged by the civil war.
‘Unbiased and objective’
The court is headed by Juma Ali Yusuf, who claimed that the judiciary process was unbiased and objective and that everyone had an equal opportunity in terms of their right to a defense.
“We judge all cases, including the ones related to al-Assad. If a soldier of al-Assad files a complaint about a member of the Free Syrian Army [FSA], we put them on trial, too. We make no discrimination between civilians and military officers. We don’t sentence anyone to death,” Yusuf said. “However, al-Assad has oppressed all of the people and still continues to do so.”
Hisem Muhammed Fawati, a member of the Syrian army that was captured near Idlib four months ago, said he joined the FSA of his own volition following his trial. “The treatment here is much better than the treatment I received in the Syrian army. We are neither beaten nor starved. I feel like I’m with my family,” Fawati said.
“Everything was forbidden in the Syrian army. We couldn’t contact our families. They used to tell us that the Free Syrian Army was killing the Alawites,” said Ali Asim Ahmed, another former soldier, adding that he also joined the rebel army voluntarily eight months ago. “I escaped the army and joined the Free Syrian Army. Al-Assad’s army ordered us to kill children without any mercy. Al-Assad’s army was killing children and its people whereas the Free Syrian Army is protecting its people,” he said.