Good news concerning Syria
Extract from Amnesty’s Group News
We hope you saw the very good news that a court in Germany sentenced Eyad al-Gharib, a former Syrian intelligence officer, to four-and-a-half years in prison for his role in aiding and abetting the torture of detained protesters in Damascus. This was an incredibly important moment in the long campaign for justice for Syrians.
It’s a historic verdict – the first of its kind for crimes under international law committed by a Syrian regime official and a big victory for all the Syrian victims, witnesses, investigators, campaigners, and lawyers who worked on this case. They helped ensure crimes were documented and legal files built for prosecution and without them this trial would not have been possible.
Many of these Syrian HRDs are AIUK’s partners who we’ve been assisting and training for several years in Germany, France, Turkey, Lebanon, the US and UK. Most are victims of torture themselves. The Syrian Centre for Media (SCM) is one of AIUK’s key partners and we’ve delivered a range of training for them, including nine holistic security workshops which we finished last week.
Their director is Mazen Darwish – he’s a torture survivor and a human rights lawyer and he was instrumental in securing this verdict. We made a video of him as the news of the verdict was coming in. The video is here and in this link.
This was the first guilty verdict but there will be more, including hopefully in the case of Anwar Raslan – a more senior figure than al-Gharib. The verdict on that case should be in September or October this year and we will make sure we are amplifying our Syrian partners again when that verdict is heard.