German Court Finds Syrian Colonel Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity


A German court has sentenced Anwar Raslan, a Syrian colonel, to life in prison for crimes against humanity in a historic trial. Raslan was linked to the torture of over 4,000 people in Syria's civil war in a jail known as "Hell on Earth." He was arrested in Germany in 2019 having successfully sought asylum there and denied all the charges against him. 

The trial in Koblenz is the world's first criminal case brought over state-led torture in Syria. UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet praised the conviction as a "landmark leap forward" in the pursuit of truth. He was charged with 58 murders as well as rape and sexual assault, and the torture of at least 4,000 people held there between 2011 and 2012. A criminal court has now formally acknowledged that crimes against humanity were perpetrated by the Assad regime against its own citizens.

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