On the occasion of the arrest of Alaa M

Statement

22.06.2020

“Suspected perpetrators like the Syrian doctor Alaa M and similar cases must be investigated. German authorities have come across these cases due to their structural investigation of the situation in Syria (Strukturermittlungsverfahren), which began in 2011. Many Syrian survivors, activists, lawyers and organizations like ECCHR have contributed to the investigation. However, it is equally important to look beyond these individual cases. Torture is widespread in Syria and used as tool to dominate and control the civilian population.

Like the two defendants in the al-Khatib trial in Koblenz, Germany, the man arrested today, Alaa M, was not a lone perpetrator. He worked in a system that promotes and requires torture. We hope that investigations will also reveal information about his superiors and high-ranking officials.

These cases must always be looked at as part of a system. Perpetrators who steer this system must be identified and brought to justice. ECCHR has filed eight criminal complaints about Syria. Issuing an arrest warrant for Jamil Hassan in June 2018 was an important first step by Germany to come to terms with the crimes committed in Syria.”

Patrick Kroker, head of ECCHR’s Syria team

Cases (5)

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To counter injustice with legal interventions – this is the aim and daily work of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.

ECCHR is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to enforcing civil and human rights worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by Wolfgang Kaleck and other international human rights lawyers to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other human rights declarations and national constitutions, through legal means.

Together with those affected and partners worldwide, ECCHR uses legal means to end impunity for those responsible for torture, war crimes, sexual and gender-based violence, corporate exploitation and fortressed borders.

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