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Press release on the trial of Syrian security officers in Koblenz

Koblenz  24.2.2021

Today, the Supreme Regional Court for the State of Rhineland-Palatinate in the German city “Koblenz” issued a decision against one of the defendants before it, “Iyad Gharib”, imprisonment for a term ” Four years and six months“. The accused Ayad Gharib has been arrested since February 2019 and charged with complicity and facilitating the commission of crimes of torture for more than thirty detainees

Meanwhile, Anwar Raslan, who was in the rank of brigadier general, heads the investigation department in the Al-Khatib branch “Branch 251 State Security” in Damascus – Syria, facing charges of torturing more than four thousand detainees and causing the death to 58 detainees due to torture in addition to charges related to rape and sexual violence. After 58 day hearings of witnesses, experts, and victims, the court decided to separate the case of the accused and issue  today a decision in the case of Iyad, while continuing to hear witnesses and plaintiffs in the case of Anwar Raslan Until October 2021

The Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research strongly welcomes this decision and considers it a historic one, and a bright spot in the history of the German judiciary and the history of global justice.

The decision is historic because for the first time a decision was issued against a criminal belonging to the Syrian regime and who committed crimes within the systemic security system,

We consider that this decision, even if it is related to one accused, but its merits, the indictment, and the demand of the Public Prosecution Office affect the system of organized and systematic crime that rules Syria with iron, fire, fear, and terrorism.

That criminal regime, with all its pillars and personalities, was present as the defendant in all court sessions, in the indictment, and in the testimonies of witnesses, victims, and experts, as well as threatening witnesses and their families in Syria.

The incrimination and sentencing of accused Iyad was not because he committed a single crime of his own accord, but because he was part of an organized and systematic infernal machine with superior orders to arrest peaceful civilians, enforce disappear  them, torture them, kill them and hide their bodies in mass graves in a very humiliating manner, and this methodology is subject to a chain of command reach To head the pyramid of systemic crime in Syria with all its pillars, The decision against Iyad means Incriminate and the condemnation of the entire pyramid of that crime, including its head and pillars,

Also, Iyad’s conviction is a message to all criminals who still commit the most horrific crimes in Syria that the time of impunity is over, and you will not find a safe place to go to, as it is a message to all the accomplices who facilitated and helped criminals to commit their crimes, that you are not safe from punishment, and you will not find an excuse Exempts you from the consequences of the crimes that you facilitated, supported, or incited to commit,

We highly appreciate the great and continuous efforts made by police and public prosecution units in Germany in pursuing these crimes and pursuing criminals against humanity and war criminals, and we call to support them with more human and financial resources.

We hope they will continue their efforts for justice by issuing more arrest warrants against the most senior criminals, including the top of the criminal pyramid who still in Syria,

which are still oppressing Syrians in Syria by arresting, torturing, and killing of all kinds.

We also greatly appreciate and respect the effort and time spent and spent by the esteemed court looking into this case, and we affirm that we, as victims and Syrians, owe them to deliver part of justice to us, and we hope that they will continue their efforts until all the victims who are claimed before them reach justice,

We offer our greatest thanks to the heroic victims’ survivors  who bravely stepped forward to testify before the courts and seek justice for themselves and the rest of the victims who could not survive, and for the witnesses and experts who lighted on all aspects of the crimes that were committed,

We extend our deep thanks and gratitude to our partners, the European Center for Constitution and Human Rights ( ECCHR ) , for their precious efforts in arriving at these results, as well as to the Syrian organizations that have participated in their efforts in this way “Caesar Files Group”, the Syrian Center for Freedom of Media and Expression ( SCM) , the Syrian Network for Human Rights ( SN4HR )  and International Organizations, the independent international mechanism for gathering evidence about crimes committed in Syria ( IIIM ) and the Center International Justice and Accountability ( CIJA ).

We take advantage of this opportunity to call on European countries that believe in the principles of justice and human rights to decide firmly to place these criminals and their criminal system outside any political framework, negotiation, or future dealings, and to codify this with laws similar to the Caesar Act issued in the United States of America to protect the values of justice and Human rights, especially after  Z 30  testimony before the court about the mass graves of one million Syrians who were killed and buried in mass graves in a secret and humiliating manner.

We call the prosecution authorities in Austria, Sweden, Norway, France, Switzerland, and Spain to speed the investigation in the files of crimes against humanity open before them and issue arrest warrants against criminals.

Justice in Syria and for t Syrians is not only related to the Syrians and the future of Syria but rather, its impact will be global and will protect the lives of tens of millions of people in the world, in countries that could face the fate of the Syrian people if we do not send the right message to them,

Preventing the recurrence of such crimes in the world is not through promises, but rather through the assurance that the perpetrators of such crimes will not have immunity or impunity under any circumstances.