Zaman al-Wasl has obtained information confirming that a member of the National Defense militia, George Youssef Al Sheikh, is currently in Montreal, Canada.
Al Sheikh was part of the Sednaya militia operations against rebelling cities and villages, in the southern countryside of Damascus, which was known for one of the worst prisons named by activists the “human slaughterhouse” for the horrific methods of torture and violations committed.
A member of Al-Hout Gang
Several sources informed our war criminals investigation team that George Youssef Al-Sheikh is currently residing in Montreal, where he arrived two years ago as a refugee, in an attempt to flee the long list of war crimes that he committed against the people of Sednaya and Douma.
One source said that George is known by the residents and opposition activists from his hometown in Sednaya, and that he was one of the first to join the regime’s militias to suppress the peaceful demonstrations in 2011. Our investigation team was able to confirm this information by a simple Google and social media search of his name, which was mentioned in several publications written by George Saada on his blog “A Free Thinker.” Saada posted three episodes in which he spoke in detail about the crimes and violations of the mercenaries of Al-Hout gang in Sednaya, including George Al-Sheikh.
Al-Sheikh’s name was also mentioned in a publication by the Media Center in Qalamoun on Facebook back in 2012, in which they documented the names of ‘Shabiha’ in Sednaya. George’s name was listed among those who participated in arresting opposition members and in attacking the displaced people coming from Douma, assaulting and burning their properties as well as more severe crimes from looting and drug and weapon trafficking to kidnapping, murder, and rape.
Arriving in Canada
One of our sources confirmed that George is staying in Canada under asylum, arriving in the far north of the American continent as part of the “church asylum” program along with another mercenary claiming of being a victim of the war in Syria.
The same source said that George is currently living a new extravagant life with the money he most likely amassed in his past crimes working with the militia.
The source concludes that is not far-fetched that Al-Sheikh was sent by the Syrian intelligence to spy on the refugees in Canada.
Zaman Al Wasl’s Archive
The name of Al-Hout gang in Sednaya was mentioned in a special report by Zaman Al Wasl documenting one of that gang’s crimes.
Our archive reveals that Al-Sheikh was fighter in the National Defense militia in Qalamoun:
“Name: George Ibn Yusuf Al Sheikh, son of Mirna - Date of Birth: 04/17/1991 - Place of birth: Damascus - Address: Sednaya, Ras Al Amoud - ID number: 8966154 - Occupation: a combatant.”
In a Facebook post published in May 2020 describing Al-Hout’s most prominent crimes, Ayman Abdel Nour, editor-in-chief of “All4Syria”, said that, “They looted over 20 villas in Sednaya. All of these operations were attended by head of the patrol Wael Barakat Azar, Alain Musa al-Khoury, Ihab Tawfiq al-Tali, Alaa Tawfiq Saada, George Youssef al-Sheikh, Georgie Samir Azar, Jihad Matanius Hilala, Michael Mirza, Faris Elias Hilala, and Sami George al-Ahmar. They deliberately spoke in the Alawi accent, stating that they were the army or the intelligence services to scare people.”
Zaman Al Wasl’s investigation team is looking into the other members of Al-Hout gang who left Syria and are residing as refugees, in order to bring them to justice as war criminals.
More than 20 years ago, Canada included universal jurisdiction over genocide and war crimes in its federal law, which means that the violations committed by George are considered criminal acts in Canada, even if they were committed abroad. Thus, Al-Sheikh can be prosecuted and brought to justice, especially under the Canadian Program on Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes.
The investigation team urges Syrian human rights activists residing in Canada to contact the program and to provide them with this information, which Zaman Al Wasl is prepared to confirm and to provide the necessary evidence and documents.
Zaman Al Wasl