German judiciary looking into several cases filed against the Syrian government

BERLIN / DARAMSUQ — The German judiciary is looking into several cases against the Syrian government after trials of Syrian regime officials for war crimes took place in the country under the principle of “universal jurisdiction”.

A German court is trying a former colonel of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on charges of committing crimes against humanity. The former colonel is accused of participating in murders of 58 people and the torture of roughly four thousand detainees, according to Agence France-Presse. A verdict is expected to be issued against him later this year.

In February, Human Rights Watch described the conviction of a former intelligence officer of the Syrian regime by a German court as a historic ruling and the beginning of the way towards more comprehensive justice in Syria. The intelligence officer was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

A Syrian doctor, suspected of torturing wounded people in a military hospital in Hmoth (Homs), is soon expected to stand trial before a German court.

The German unit specializing in war crimes has conducted 105 investigations relating to crimes committed in Syria between 2017 and 2019.

Since 2002, Germany’s adoption of universal jurisdiction has enabled the country to prosecute anyone for committing crimes against humanity or war crimes anywhere in the world.