A German court on Thursday sentenced a former Syrian colonel to life in prison for crimes against humanity.The “historic” verdict marked the end of the first global trial over state-sponsored torture in Syria.
Anwar Raslan was found guilty of overseeing the murder of 27 people at the Al-Khatib detention center in Damascus in 2011 and 2012.
He sought refuge in Germany after deserting the Syrian regime in 2012.
Prosecutors accused Raslan of overseeing the murder of 58 people and the torture of 4,000 others at the center.
The case was brought using the legal principle of universal jurisdiction.
This allows offences to be prosecuted even if they were committed in a different country.Other such cases have also sprung up in Germany, France, and Sweden, as Syrians who have sought refuge in Europe turn to the only legal means currently available to them.