محاكمة التعذيب في سوريا أمام المحكمة الإقليمية العليا في كوبلنز بألمانيا
يحاول أنور.ر، التقليل من دوره في تعذيب 4000 شخص
Koblenz/Berlin – Anwar R, the main defendant in the al-Khatib trial, the first trial worldwide about state torture in Syria, issued a statement today at the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany.
“Anwar R is obviously trying to downplay his role by saying he obeyed orders and that Subdivision 40, led by Hafez Makhlouf, exercised the factual power in the al-Khatib detention center. That is common practice in such trials. But he allegedly issued, not merely received and followed, orders in his department. We do not believe he played a minor role,” said Wolfgang Kaleck, general secretary of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), after today’s court hearing.
As head of investigations in the al-Khatib prison, Anwar R is charged with being an accomplice in torturing at least 4000 people, murdering 58 people, as well as rape and aggravated sexual assault. ECCHR supports 17 survivors in the proceedings, seven of whom are joint plaintiffs and represented by ECCHR partner lawyers.
With his statement, Anwar R seemed to say that his role was of little importance, which is not supported by the evidence. “He was a career officer who made his career in Assad’s government even before 2011,” said Kaleck. According to the indictment, he participated in torture for nearly a year and a half.
If the evidence proves to be correct, this means Anwar R did not commit the crime of torture by chance.
When it comes to deciding on the severity of the sentence, the court will consider aspects such as Anwar R’s behavior after the crimes were committed. As a human rights organization that challenges impunity of gross human rights violations, ECCHR is committed to the principle of fair trials. This includes the accused’s right to comment on the indictment, and explain their actions if they so choose.
Our work on the Koblenz trial is embedded in a series of criminal complaints about torture in Syria that ECCHR and more than 50 Syrians, including torture survivors and their relatives, activists and lawyers, filed in Germany, Austria, Sweden and Norway starting in 2016.