Monday 23 May 2022

At least 20 Syrian war crimes suspects are in the Netherlands, say officials



The stream of asylum seekers from Syria who have come to the Netherlands includes at least 20 people suspected of war crimes, according to a justice ministry briefing quoted in the AD.

Junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff has told MPs that 170 potential war criminals were investigated by immigration ministry officials last year. In 60 cases the inquiry concerned Syrian nationals and in 20 cases officials found sufficient evidence of war crimes.

The AD says Dijkhoff has declined to say whether the suspects fought for president Assad or his opponents. However, they are unlikely to have been supporters of IS, the paper said.

International treaties prevent the Netherlands from deporting war criminals to Syria but they can face prosecution here, the AD said. The Netherlands will not provide them with basic necessities to live in the hope they leave the country of their own accord.

Last year, 30 asylum seekers were given 1F status, which means they are suspected of committing war crimes. In addition to Syria, they came from Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan and Georgia.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.