Swiss Court: Fighting ISIS is honourable

Syriac Swiss citizen Johan Cosar has stood trial for fighting against ISIS in northern Syria.

Syriac Swiss citizen Johan Cosar had fought with the Syriac Military Council to defend the people from ISIS attacks in Syria where he had travelled to in search of his lost father. Johan Cosar fought against ISIS from 2012 to 2015, then returned to his country, Switzerland, where he was detained and sued. Cosar’s final trial was held in the Bellinzona Federal Military Court on Friday.

Cosar and his lawyers attended the hearing which was also observed by representatives of the European Syriac Union and several people in solidarity with Cosar.

Cosar recalled his previous statements at Court and stated that he was proud to have fought a terrorist organization like ISIS.

Following the defence statements of Cosar and his lawyers, the military court concluded that it did not constitute a crime to fight against ISIS, recognized by Switzerland as a terrorist organization, and ruled for the acquittal of Cosar for whom up to 3 years in prison was sought.

Describing Cosar’s fight against ISIS as “honourable”, the court regarded the accusation that Cosar committed a crime by fighting ISIS as inadequate.

On the other hand, Cosar was fined 500 francs on the grounds that he undermined Switzerland’s neutrality and security by joining the military organization of a foreign country while his service within the Swiss army still continued.

After the trial, Johan Cosar told the press that it was meaningful for him to fight against ISIS, adding; "While there was a danger of genocide for my people, it would not have been right to be silent."

The European Syriac Union also made a statement outside the court in solidarity with Cosar and emphasized that it was not a crime but a humanitarian duty to fight ISIS.