EU welcomes conviction for Syrian war crimes in Germany

EU welcomes conviction for Syrian war crimes in Germany
2 min read
15 January, 2022
The EU has hailed the conviction of Anwar Raslan, a former Syrian regime intelligence officer, who was found guilty of war crimes at a trial in Koblenz, Germany.
Anwar Raslan served as head of investigations at the notorious Branch 251 [Getty]

The European Union has welcomed the guilty verdict handed down by a German court to a former intelligence officer of the Syrian regime, hailing the judgement as a “landmark decision”.

Anwar Raslan, 58, was found guilty of committing crimes against humanity, murders, torture, and sexual assault, while serving as the head of investigations at the notorious Branch 251 in Damascus

“This verdict is part of the first trial worldwide on state-sponsored torture in Syria and an important step towards the fight against impunity and to secure justice and accountability in Syria,” the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) wrote in a statement.

The EEAS added that those accused of committing war crimes in Syria must be referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague

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Raslan was found guilty at a lengthy trial of torturing and murdering Syrian civilians who had risen up in defiance of President Assad’s rule in 2011. 

He was charged with the murder of 58 people and the torture of at least 4,000. 

The verdict was a landmark decision for victims of the Syrian regime and was considered an important example of the principle of universal jurisdiction to prosecute crimes against humanity.

“International criminal justice, universal jurisdiction always comes too late and it's never enough but… I would say it's an important step forward,” Wolfgang Kaleck, head of the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights said.