Syrian sentenced in Germany to life in prison for war crimes

A Syrian, member of the Al-Nosra Front, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaida, was sentenced, Thursday, August 26, in Germany to life imprisonment for a war crime: the filmed murder of an army officer Syrian. The Düsseldorf court sentenced a second defendant, presented as Sami A. S., to nine years in prison for filming the murder, committed in July 2012.

The two Syrians were arrested on July 13, 2020 in Naumburg, in eastern Germany, and in Essen, in the former mining basin of the Ruhr (west).

No details were given on the circumstances of their arrival in Germany, a country which has hosted around 800,000 Syrians since the start of the war in 2011.

Several ongoing trials

The main defendant, Khedr A. K., was found guilty of repeatedly killing a Syrian army lieutenant colonel, who had previously been tortured. The execution was filmed and broadcast on the Internet.

The prosecution had requested life imprisonment for the two men.

Several trials or investigations, some of them involving alleged acts of crimes against humanity, are currently underway in Germany targeting members of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

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In recent years, Germany has placed itself at the forefront of the prosecution of the abuses of which the Damascus regime is accused. Its universal jurisdiction in this type of case allows it to prosecute the perpetrators of the most serious crimes regardless of their nationality and the place where the crimes were committed.

At the end of February, German justice had, in the first trial of this type in the world, sentenced a former member of the Syrian intelligence services to four and a half years in prison for “Complicity in crimes against humanity”.

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The World with AFP