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25 Jul 2012

Qosmos lawsuit (re Syria)


Date lawsuit was filed
25 Jul 2012
Human Rights Defender
Location of Filing: France
Location of Incident: Syria
Type of Litigation: Transnational


Qosmos (part of Enea) France Technology, telecom & electronics


Snapshot: In 2012, two NGOs filed a criminal complaint in Paris, asking it to investigate the involvement of Qosmos, a French software components company, in supplying surveillance equipment to the Bashar El-Assad government in Syria. The French authorities opened an investigation into the company's activities. The case was dismissed in December 2020.

Pour la version française de ce profil, cliquez ici.

On 25 July 2012, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH) filed a criminal complaint before a Paris court, urging it to investigate the involvement of French companies in supplying surveillance equipment to the Bashar El-Assad government in Syria.  The complaint named Qosmos, a French software components company, in particular alleging that it is complicit in human rights abuses, including torture, by the Syrian Government by providing it with surveillance equipment.  The complaint alleges the surveillance equipment allowed the government to monitor, target, arrest and torture dissidents and was used to suppress the government’s opposition. 

On 26 July 2012, French authorities opened an investigation into Qosmos’ activities.  Qosmos denies all allegations and filed a defamation complaint against both human rights groups.  The company asserts it has never entered into a contractual agreement with the Syrian Government with respect to the sale of any of its products and that its activities comply with all applicable laws. 

On 17 April 2015, the investigating judge declared Qosmos an "assisted witness".

On 31 December 2020, the judge dismissed the case because there was not enough evidence to establish a causal link between the defective surveillance equipment and the acts of torture and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Syrian regime.

- “Prosecutors Probe Complaint Over Syria’s Surveillance Suppliers”, Heather Smith, Bloomberg, 30 Jul 2012
- “France investigates tech firm accused of aiding Syria”, Thierry Lévêque, Reuters, 26 Jul 2012
- “Qosmos tech company accused of aiding Syrian regime”, Daniel DeFraia, Globalpost, 26 Jul 2012
- [FR] “Syrie: Qosmos "n'a rien à se reprocher"" AFP, 25 juillet 2012
- [FR] “Surveillance informatique en Syrie: plainte contre la société française Qosmos” Beatrix Baconnier, AFP, 25 juillet 2012

Qosmos Position on Recent Claims, 4 Sep 2012
- [FR] Position de Qosmos concernant la Syrie, 4 septembre 2012
- [FR] QOSMOS porte plainte contre la FIDH et la LDH pour dénonciation calomnieuse, 4 septembre 2012

- [FR] Questions/réponses sur l’affaire Qosmos, 27 juillet 2012
FIDH and LDH ask French judiciary to investigate on the involvement of French companies in Syria, 25 Jul 2012
- [FR] La FIDH et la LDH demandent à la justice d’ouvrir une enquête sur l’implication de sociétés françaises en Syrie , 25 juillet 2012
الفدرالية الدولية لحقوق الإنسان ورابطة حقوق الإنسان يطالبون القضاء الفرنسي بفتح تحقيقات حول مشاركة الشركات الفرنسية في سوريا, تموز (يوليو) 2012