Omar Alshogre followed the entire process, which took place in a court in the city of Koblenz and admits that the verdict could not have gone better.
The former soldier was convicted of crimes against humanity. The judges had no doubt that he was responsible for the torture of around 4,000 people, for at least 30 extrajudicial murders and for several sexual crimes. He was sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of early release.
heard by TSF, the young man who survived the chains of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, applauds the decision and says that justice has begun to be done. “I felt very relieved, amazed, happy and satisfied that at least one of the people responsible for the death and torture of thousands of Syrians will not be able to do that again. Knowing that the door to justice has opened was also very important. I will be able to tell my mother, my friends and the Syrian people that the person responsible for the suffering of so many families is in prison,” explained Omar.
The 25-year-old, now living safely in exile in Sweden, believes he will one day see the Syrian president in the dock. He argues that this was the first step, an important step for the people because it creates hope about what can follow: “I believe that we will be able to judge the president for the crimes he committed and allowed to happen.”
Omar was not in the jail run by the former soldier, now convicted, but explains that the branch of the secret services in Damascus is similar to the one responsible for the places where he spent a lot of time. Systematic torture was the same, guards tortured detainees to obtain information or forced confessions. The inhumane living conditions were also the same.
The young Syrian regrets that the Al-Khateeb jail, which the former soldier ran, and the Sednaya jail, where he himself was, remain open and are the reason why thousands of Syrians and their families continue to suffer. For him, that fact alone is a crime against humanity.
As for the fact that Germany is taking important steps in defense of the peoples of different parts of the world, Omar Alshogre says that the country must be a model for other states that have the capacity to do justice.
Germany, in an unprecedented decision, sentenced at the end of last year an Iraqi citizen who was part of the Islamic state. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide of the Yazidi minority, crimes against humanity, war crimes and human trafficking. Now, for the first time, he has tried and sentenced a top official of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Omar praises the country’s courage and is grateful that the Germans have taken responsibility for ensuring that justice is served. The young man adds that the Syrian people can only be grateful for the fact that Germany has received thousands of Syrian refugees.
The first time the TSF spoke to Omar Alshogree was two years after he managed to escape from jail. When he fled he was 18 years old and after years of torture and starvation he weighed 35 kilos. In 2017, he had just arrived in Stockholm, spoke poor English and was clearly traumatized. He still had difficulty describing what he had gone through. Since then, Omar has become an activist known around the world, has traveled to several countries and, at the end of last year, he was at the UN directly accusing the Russian and Chinese ambassadors for helping the regime of Bashar al-Assad. and to derail, in the security council, any motion that helps the Syrian people.