Term

Universal jurisdiction

The principle of universal jurisdiction provides for a state's jurisdiction over crimes against international law even when the crimes did not occur on that state's territory, and neither the victim nor perpetrator is a national of that state. The principle allows national courts in third countries to address international crimes occurring abroad, to hold perpetrators criminally liable, and to prevent impunity.

Syria

Torture under the Assad Regime

Torture

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.

Syria

"Caesar" Photos Document Systematic Torture

Torture

The group around the former Syrian military police employee 'Caesar' took for the first legal action by filing together with ECCHR a criminal complaint against senior officials from the Syrian intelligence services and the military police concerning crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Syria

Saydnaya Military Prison – Objective is to physically and psychologically break detainees

Torture

In Syria, the word Saydnaya has become a synonym for unimaginable torture, systematic degradation and mass executions. Together with four individuals who survived the torture in Saydnaya ECCHR has filed in Germany a criminal complaint against seven high-ranking Syrian military officials.

Syria

German authorities issue arrest warrant against Jamil Hassan, head of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence

Torture

"As the head of Syrian Air Force Intelligence, Jamil Hassan is responsible for the torture me and my friends suffered. The international arrest warrant shows, that our criminal complaint is the right path to achieve justice”, says Yazan Awad, a Syrian torture survivors who cooperates with ECCHR.

Syria

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

Torture

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.

USA

Spain: Court accepts complaint against end of investigations into torture in Guantánamo

Guantánamo

In March 2009, a criminal complaint was filed against six former US officials regarding their accountability for violations of international law, including war crimes and torture. The six US officials became known as the Bush Six.

USA

Rumsfeld torture cases

Torture

Between 2004 and 2007, three complaints were filed in Germany and in France against members of the US Government, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and members of the military forces in connection with war crimes, torture and other criminal acts in the military prisons of Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.

USA

Germany: Criminal Complaint against CIA Director Gina Haspel

Torture

ECCHR has filed a criminal complaint with the German Federal Public Prosecutor calling for investigations into Gina Haspel's role in the torture of detainees at a CIA secret prison in Thailand in 2002. Haspel was appointed Director of the CIA by President Donald Trump in May 2018.