The first lady of Syria, 45-year-old Asma Assad, might lose her British citizenship and could face prosecution charges in the UK for being an "influential actor" in inciting and encouraging acts of terrorism, Sky News reported on Saturday.
Allegations have been directed at the wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad, prompting a Metropolitan Police investigation.
Sky News noted that if the "desert rose" of the Middle East – as she has been called – is charged, the UK could seek her extradition to stand trial. According to the report, Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers accuses her of being among a number of "influential actors" who encouraged and incited acts of terrorism and international crimes.
This month of March marks a full decade since the Syrian civil war began. The death count today is estimated at around 500,000 people, with more than 6.5 million having been displaced.
"This is an important step in holding senior political officials accountable for their acts," the legal team behind the charges told Sky News, emphasizing the importance of not just extradition, but of prosecution. "This is an important process and it is only right that justice is served before an English court."
Asma Assad – born as Emma Akhras – is a native of a London suburb who had worked as an investment banker for JPMorgan in the 1990s, which is around the time when she met her future husband, Bashar. He became president in July 2000; they were married a few months later in December.
The presidential couple both tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, after showing minor symptoms, and have reportedly been feeling good.
"We recognize that it would be politically expedient to merely strip the first lady of her citizenship," the legal team said, adding however that it "will not serve the interests of the hundreds of thousands of civilian victims to the 10-year conflict."