Police officers inspect a crime scene in Germany.
(photo credit: LEON KUEGELER/REUTERS)
A leading Syrian diaspora critic of President Bashar Assad died on Tuesday after being murdered with an ax, according to German media reports.
The daily mass-circulation Bild asked if Mohamed Joune was killed because he was a critic of Assad. An acquaintance of Joune told Bild that he was “likely murdered because of his political activities.”
Joune, 48, oversaw the Union of Syrians Abroad, and lived in the northern German city of Hamburg, where he worked as pharmacist and owned real estate.
He stumbled out of a building on Tuesday evening with severe wounds to his head. Joune was rushed to a local hospital but passed away due to bleeding from his wounds. In addition to the ax wounds, he was hit on his body and head.
reported that Joune, shortly before his murder, had terminated the rental agreement of a Syrian whom he, according to the acquaintance, allegedly “discovered the tenant’s father in a video as a member of Assad’s army.”
The German magazine Stern
reported that authorities are searching for two suspects in the murder. Joune’s acquaintance said he had spoken before his murder about “organizing a demonstration in Hamburg against the yearly anniversary of the Syrian revolution.”
The Jerusalem Post
reported in 2017 that Germany is a hotbed of Iranian, Russian and Syrian regimes’ spy activity. Germany’s federal government declared four Syrian agents persona non grata.
According to the website of the Union of Syrians Abroad, its aim is “to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, especially women and children, both in Syria and in neighboring countries.” The humanitarian organization was founded in 2011 – the year that the Syrian revolution began.
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