Crimes against humanity

The conviction of a former Syrian intelligence officer by a German court for crimes against humanity is a landmark step towards justice for crimes in Syria. The verdict is particularly important for all survivors of torture and sexual abuse in Syrian prisons. The convict, Anwar R., is a former member of the Central Security Directorate, one of the country's most important intelligence agencies.


Anwar R. is the highest-ranking former Syrian government official to have been convicted of serious crimes. German prosecutors accused Anwar R. of overseeing the torture of detainees in his capacity as head of the investigation department at Al-Khatib prison. Tens of thousands of people have been abducted in Syria since 2011, the vast majority by government forces using an extensive network of detention facilities across the country. The Syrian government continues to detain or forcibly remove thousands of people.

Credit: OCHA

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