The conviction of Anwar Raslan, a hope for the victims of the Syrian regime

In Koblenz in Germany, this former Syrian colonel of the intelligence services was found guilty of the murder and torture of prisoners. For his countless victims, his conviction for crimes against humanity is, symbolically, that of the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

“Germany begins writing ‘history of justice’ for Syrians”, writes with a certain solemnity the daily Asharq Al-Awsat the day after the life sentence in Koblenz of the former colonel of the Syrian intelligence services Anwar Raslan for crimes against humanity. This is the first trial in the world concerning abuses by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

Head of the investigation department of the dreaded branch 251, Raslan was convicted of the murder of 27 prisoners and the torture of at least 4,000 others in 2011 and 2012, in a Damascus prison. He could appeal the decision. More such trials in Germany and elsewhere in Europe are expected to follow.

With this condemnation “historical” – the first against a high-ranking officer of Bashar El-Assad’s regime – “German justice has given hope to thousands of Syrians to be able to obtain justice against those who attacked them and caused their departure from their country”, can we read in another article of the Pan-Arab newspaper.

Certainly, underlines the other pan-Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, the convictions of Raslan and the agent who was sentenced, within the framework of the same trial, to four and a half years in prison “Were pronounced against an officer and a non-commissioned officer who broke with the regime and risked their lives to defect, and not against the senior political and military officials who continue to arrest, torture and rape”. Nevertheless, they constitute a “Legal basis for judging the secret services in Syria as a whole”.

“Condemnation of the whole regime”

The day after the verdict


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