NewsJudgment awaited in the state torture process in Syria

Judgment awaited in the state torture process in Syria

A decade after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, judges want to judge an alleged torturer from Damascus. Your dish in the German province moves into the international focus.

Koblenz – According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the first criminal case in the world for state torture in Syria is expected on Thursday (10:00 a.m.).

The State Security Senate of the Higher Regional Court of Koblenz wants to announce it on the 108th day of the trial of the process that began in April 2020. The trial, with more than 80 witnesses and a number of victims of torture as co-plaintiffs, attracted international attention.

The federal prosecutor’s office accuses the defendant, Anwar R., of crimes against humanity in 2011 and 2012 in the early stages of the Syrian civil war. The 58-year-old is said to have been responsible for the torture of at least 4,000 people in a general secret service prison in the Syrian capital Damascus. At least 30 prisoners died. The federal prosecutor’s office has applied for life imprisonment for the Syrian – and the determination of the particular gravity of the guilt, which almost excludes a release from prison after 15 years.

Defendant describes himself as innocent

The defense has called for acquittal. The defendant has declared himself innocent. He did not torture and did not give a single order to do so. On the contrary, he also arranged for the release of captured Arab Spring demonstrators. He secretly sympathized with the Syrian opposition and supported them after fleeing his homeland – including by participating in the second Syria peace conference in Geneva in 2014.

The international law principle in international criminal law makes it possible to prosecute possible war crimes committed by foreigners in other countries. Anwar R. and the former co-defendant Eyad A. were recognized by alleged victims of torture after their escape in Germany and arrested in Berlin and Zweibrücken in 2019.

Eyad A. has already been sentenced by the OLG to four and a half years in prison for aiding and abetting a crime against humanity. A decision has not yet been made on its revision. According to the conviction of the Koblenz judges, Eyad A. helped bring 30 demonstrators to the torture prison of the main defendant in Syria in 2011. dpa

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