Few would make the connection between a comparatively sleepy town in western Germany and some of the most hellish underground torture chambers of the regime of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. But Thursday will mark the verdict of the world’s first ever trial on state-sponsored torture in Syria. And it is taking place in Koblenz, Germany.
Eyad A, a low-level guard at the Syrian State Security Branch 251, is accused of crimes against humanity alongside Anwar R, the alleged head of interrogation at the same notorious detention facility in Damascus. They both defected from the Syrian government near the start of the revolution against President Assad and eventually sought asylum in Germany where investigations were first triggered.
Prosecutors allege that Anwar R oversaw the torture of at least 4,000 people there. Eyad has already been convicted last February of bringing at least 30 anti-government protesters to the notorious prison to be tortured in 201, which is he appealing.
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