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Germany calls for life-imprisonment for ex-Syrian officer

December 3, 2021 at 3:14 pm

Syrian defendant Anwar Raslan, 57, arrives at court at court in Koblenz, western Germany for an unprecedented trial on state-sponsored torture in Syria on 23 April 2020 [THOMAS LOHNES/AFP/Getty Images]

German prosecutors yesterday demanded life imprisonment for a former officer in the Syrian regime’s intelligence service for “committing crimes against humanity.

Anwar Raslan, 58, faces charges of supervising the killing of 58 people and torturing 4,000 others in Al-Khatib Detention Centre, located in the Syrian capital city of Damascus, during the period between 29 April 2011 and 7 September 2012.

He had requested asylum in Germany, after defecting from the Syrian regime in 2012.

Germany is currently looking into more than 12 cases related to crimes committed in Syria, according to the human rights organization Redress.

Thousands of Syrian refugees, including victims and perpetrators, fled for Germany in 2015 when it opened its borders.

The Director of the International Crimes and Accountability Program at the Berlin-based European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights, Andreas Schüller, said recently that there were a “lot of people who are calling for justice.”

This trial is considered a global precedent in holding the Syrian regime accountable for crimes of torture.

READ: Countries must repatriate 27,000 children from Syria detention camp, Amnesty urges