book of laws with gavel, pictured in a district court
Credit: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Eight months prison for man found guilty of crime in Syria

A man was sentenced in Södertorn District court today to serve eight months in prison for having committed a crime against the law of nations.

News agency TT reports that the man, 32, fought for the Syrian Army and was photographed posing with people who were dead or seriously wounded. In the photograph, he is seen in uniform with his foot on the stomach of a person, who appears to be a civilian. The civilian is one of five people lying on the ground.

The prosecutor had requested the man to be deported, but the court refused, citing obstacles to carrying out such a request.

The Södertorn District Court, according to a statement on its website about the case, determined that through the man's actions, he exposed five people, who were all protected according to international humanitarian law in armed conflicts, to humiliating or disparaging treatment with the intention of gravely insulting their personal dignity. 

The crime is reported to have taken place in Damascus, in January 2014. The man later fled Syria and came to Sweden in 2015 seeking asylum. Police were tipped off by private individuals about the existence of the photographs, reports TT.

The man has admitted that he is in the picture, but claims that his commanders forced him to do it.

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