German court sentences former Syrian colonel to life in prison | Syria’s War News

A landmark ruling by a court in Koblenz finds Anwar Raslan convicted of crimes against humanity in a Damascus prison a decade ago.

A German court has sentenced Anwar Raslan, a former Syrian colonel, to life in prison for crimes against humanity in a prison near Damascus a decade ago.

Thursday’s landmark ruling by the Koblenz Court represents a first step towards achieving justice for the countless Syrians who have suffered abuses at the hands of President Bashar al-Assad’s government during the years-long conflict.

This was the world’s first criminal case for state-led torture in Syria, and Raslan, 58, is the highest-ranking former government official on trial for the atrocities committed there.

Prosecutors said Raslan oversaw the “systematic and brutal torture” of more than 4,000 prisoners in al-Khatib prison in the Syrian capital between April 2011 and September 2012, killing at least 58 people.

It is alleged that Raslan was a high-ranking officer in the security apparatus during the Assad era as mass anti-government protests against his rule were violently crushed. He sought refuge in Germany after defecting from his position and fleeing Syria in 2012.

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