Term

Structural investigation

In Germany, a structural investigation (Strukturermittlungsverfahren) is opened where there is evidence that a crime has taken place but potential perpetrators have not yet been definitively identified. The investigation focuses on structures related to the potential crime and groupings of potential perpetrators.

Syria

Proceedings against doctor Alaa M: Coming to terms with crimes in Syria continues

Crimes against humanity

In June 2020, the German police arrested Alaa M, who has since been held in detention awaiting trial. The reason: strong suspicion of complicity in crimes against humanity committed by the Syrian regime since 2011. Approximately one year after his arrest, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced that it had filed charges against M, a former Syrian doctor who allegedly tortured, killed and sexually abused people in military hospitals.

Syria

Torture under the Assad regime

Torture

The Syrian government led by president Bashar al-Assad is responsible for systematic and widespread torture. This is why in March 2017, ECCHR, seven Syrian torture survivors and lawyers Anwar al-Bunni and Mazen Darwish submitted the first criminal complaint against high-level officials of the Syrian military intelligence service to the German Federal Prosecutor.

Syria

The path to justice leads through Europe – e.g. Austria

Torture

The path to justice for war crimes and torture in Syria also leads through Europe. After Germany, Sweden and France, Austrian authorities have initiated investigations into the Syrian intelligence services’ role in systematic torture. This followed a criminal complaint submitted by 16 Syrians, ECCHR, and its partners to the public prosecutor in Vienna in May 2018.