İrem GÖL -TDO- Two Syrian citizens, Anwar Raslan and Eyad al-Gharib, will appear in front of the judge in Koblenz for committing war crimes. Anwar and Eyad had escaped from Syria and applied for asylum in Germany, yet they were different from the other Syrians seeking for refugee for taking part in state’s machinery of oppression in the past. Both of them were members of the intelligence service, which is known for arresting, torturing and killing the protesters and opposition figures.

Anwar is charged with crimes against humanity, rape, aggravated sexual assault and 58 murders. Also he is alleged of overseeing the torture of at least 4,000 people as a commanding officer between 29 April 2011 and 7 September 2012. Eyad is accused of assistance to torture and murder in 30 counts. Six Syrians who were tortured by the intelligence service have been given the right to appear at the court. However, due to the travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, only three of them are expected to be present in the trials.

In 2002 Germany enacted the legal principle of universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity, allowing the prosecution of serious crimes in its courts even if they happened elsewhere. A special war crimes unit at Germany was set up in 2003. Between 2015 and 2017 when thousands of refugees applied for asylum in Germany, the unit received more than 2,800 tipoffs about crimes allegedly committed under the regime of Asad.

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