Two former intelligence officers may have to stand trial before a german court for the atrocities committed in the torture prisons of syrian president baschar al-assad.
The federal prosecutor general loved to arrest the two 56 and 42 year old syrians on tuesday in berlin and rhineland-palatinate. They are accused of crimes against humanity, the federal prosecutor’s office in karlsruhe announced on wednesday. This involves torture and physical abuse in thousands of cases.
It is the first time ever that german investigators have taken action against government employees for crimes committed in the syrian civil war. German justice minister katarina barley (SPD) spoke of an important sign. "The atrocities committed by the syrian regime can be prosecuted internationally," she declared in berlin.
The two manneres who left syria in 2012, according to federal prosecutors, are already in custody under investigation. According to the report, they belonged to a department of the syrian general intelligence service, which was responsible for security in the area of the capital damascus.
The elder, anwar R., is said to have headed the so-called investigation department there with an attached prison. In this function, he also commanded the use of systematic and brutal torture between april 2011 and september 2012, it was claimed. The federal prosecutor’s office therefore wants to bring him before the court as an accomplice.
Eyad A. In 2011, he is said to have had the temporary task of detecting and arresting deserters, demonstrators and other suspects at a checkpoint. About 100 people are arrested there every day, according to anwar R. Guided prisoner brought and tortured there. The investigators accuse A. Auberdem reproached for having placed fleeing people after the violent termination of a demonstration and also brought them to the prison. He is therefore strongly suspected of having assisted in the killing of two people and the torture of at least 2000 people.
How both manner came to germany and why was not disclosed. Anwar R. Said to have been in the country since 2014, eyad A. Since 2018.
According to the european center for constitutional and human rights (ECCHR), which says it is representing several torture survivors in the case, the two syrians had deserted a long time ago. Anwar R. Had absconded to germany via jordan. He was recognized by torture victims after his arrival in the federal republic, an employee of the organization told the deutsche presse-agentur in berlin on wednesday.
Another employee from the department of anwar R. Was also apprehended tuesday in france by the paris prosecutor’s office, according to the federal prosecutor’s office. The arrests had been coordinated in a joint investigation team.
The german judiciary is actually only responsible abroad when a german is the perpetrator or victim of a crime. However, according to the principle of international law, the most serious crimes under international law can be prosecuted anywhere if the perpetrator would otherwise go unpunished.
Since 2011, the federal prosecutor’s office has been collecting thousands of indications of war crimes in syria in a so-called structural procedure. Investigators analyzed tens of thousands of image files showing corpses with traces of torture.
In march 2017, seven survivors of torture prisons in syria filed criminal charges with the federal public prosecutor against six intelligence chiefs and other suspects from the ranks of the assad government. It was initially unclear whether the current arrests were connected to this.
ECCHR secretary-general wolfgang kaleck announced that torture victims supported by his nongovernmental organization would be joined as defendants in a possible trial. Six of them had been questioned as witnesses by the federal criminal police office, it was reported.