HRW, conviction of former torturer 'step towards justice'

Raslan life sentence 'meaningful' for survivors of repression

13 January, 15:19

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JAN 13 - The conviction and sentencing to life in prison in Germany of a former Syrian intelligence officer for crimes against humanity is "a ground-breaking step toward justice for serious crimes in Syria," said Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a statement on Thursday.

    It said the judgment is a "meaningful moment for civilians who survived torture and sexual abuse in Syria's prisons". The Supreme Regional Court of Koblenz accused Anwar Raslan (who HRW referred to as "Anwar R.") of overseeing the torture of detainees in his capacity as head of the investigations section at the al-Khatib detention facility in Damascus, also known as "Branch 251" of the General Intelligence Directorate, Assad's notorious secret service.

    "More than 10 years after the violations were committed in Syria, the German court's verdict is a long-awaited beacon of hope that justice can and will in the end prevail," said HRW.

    "Other countries should follow Germany's lead, and actively bolster efforts to prosecute serious crimes in Syria," it said.(ANSAmed).

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