Charges against Lafarge for ‘complicity in crimes against humanity’ in Syria confirmed

May 20, 2022 - 21:23

TEHRAN — On Wednesday, the Investigative Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeals decided that the cement giant Lafarge will face the charge of “complicity in crimes against humanity” in Syria.

Lafarge, via its subsidiary, has allegedly paid up to 13 million euro to several armed groups including Daesh in order to keep its Syrian cement factory running. ECCHR and Sherpa, the NGOs which initiated this case, welcome this decisive ruling which confirms that a company alleged of knowingly paying several million dollars to a criminal organization, can face charges of complicity in the gravest crimes.

Wednesday’s ruling follows the September 7, 2021 groundbreaking decision of the Cour de cassation (Court of Cassation), France’s highest court, which had clarified the legal framework under which a company may be charged with complicity in crimes against humanity. 

Following a complaint submitted by NGOs ECCHR, Sherpa, and 11 former Syrian Lafarge employees in 2016, this is the first time worldwide that a company, as a legal entity, is being charged with complicity in crimes against humanity.  Lafarge also remains charged with deliberately endangering the lives of its Syrian employees.