German court sentences Syrian colonel Anwar Raslan to life imprisonment
The BBC reported that German court has sentenced a Syrian colonel to life in prison for crimes against humanity in a landmark case.
Anwar Raslan, 58, was linked to the torture of over 4,000 people in Syria's civil war in a jail known as "Hell on Earth".
The trial in Koblenz is the world's first criminal case brought over state-led torture in Syria.
It's hard to imagine what the men and women incarcerated in Syria's notorious Al-Khatib prison had to endure.
At the heart of it, Raslan was accused of being a high-ranking security service officer under President Bashar al-Assad as mass anti-government protests were violently crushed in 2011.
Many protesters and others suspected of opposing the regime were rounded up and detained in the Al-Khatib facility in Damascus where, prosecutors say, Mr Raslan directed operations.
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.
The ruling is significant, especially for those who survived Al-Khatib and gave evidence during the trial. A criminal court has now formally acknowledged that crimes against humanity were perpetrated by the Assad regime against its own citizens.
Raslan was arrested in Germany in 2019 having successfully sought asylum there. He denied all the charges against him, saying he had nothing to do with the mistreatment of prisoners and that he actually tried to help some detainees.