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.
The Syrian government led by president Bashar al-Assad is responsible for systematic and widespread torture. ECCHR together with seven Syrian torture survivors as well as the Syrian lawyers al-Bunni and Darwish submitted the first criminal complaint against six high-level officials of the Syrian military intelligence service to the German Federal Prosecutor.
They survived torture and detention in Syria and fled to Europe, where they now hope to obtain justice. Austrian authorities should follow the example set in Germany, Sweden and France and initiate investigations into systematic torture under Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.