Anwar Raslan

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Anwar Raslan ( Arabic أنور رسلان, DMG Anwar Raslan ; * February 3, 1963 in Homs ) is a former Syrian police officer and a colonel in the Syrian secret services . In 2020 he was charged with crimes against humanity in the course of his activities as chief investigator of the Syrian secret services at the Koblenz Higher Regional Court , found guilty in January 2022 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Escape to Germany

Raslan defected to the Syrian opposition in 2012 during the Syrian civil war and then fled to Germany . There he applied for asylum and settled in Berlin with his family . Raslan believed in 2015 that henchmen of the Assad regime were after him. He filed a complaint with the police against strangers who had observed him. His statements ended up with the federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe, which, however, initiated proceedings against him. Accordingly, Raslan was not tracked down or accused; he believed that his change of sides had undone the previous deeds.


The indictment charged him with several thousand counts of torture and 58 counts of murder . The case was the first in the world in which a former civil servant under the government of Bashar al-Assad had to face trial.


Raslan was arrested in February 2019 and charged under the universal jurisdiction. More than 80 witnesses were summoned in the trial, which lasted 108 days. With the conviction in January 2022, the Higher Regional Court saw it as proven that Raslan, as chief of interrogations, was responsible for the torture of at least 4,000 people, of whom 30 prisoners did not survive.


In addition to the crimes against humanity, Raslan was also convicted of multiple murders (27 counts), dangerous bodily harm (25 counts), particularly serious rape , sexual assault in two counts, deprivation of liberty and hostage-taking . The verdict is not yet legally binding.

Raslan himself pleaded innocent during the trial. According to his own statement, he neither tortured nor gave an order to do so. He claimed to have arranged for the release of captured Arab Spring protesters . According to his own statements, he sympathized with the Syrian opposition and supported them after fleeing Syria. His defense had asked for an acquittal.

See also


  1. Inside the Anwar Raslan trial: the first four days. Syria Justice and Accountability Centre, 7 May 2020, accessed 5 January 2021 .
  2. a b c Koblenz: Life imprisonment in state torture trial in Syria . In: The Mirror . January 13, 2022, ISSN  2195-1349 ( [accessed January 13, 2022]).
  3. a b c Fidelius Schmid, Christoph Reuter, DER SPIEGEL: Koblenz: Trial against Anwar Raslan from Syria. In: The Mirror. April 23, 2020, retrieved January 3, 2021 .
  4. a b c Laws to catch human-rights abusers are growing teeth . In: The Economist . 2 January 2021, ISSN  0013-0613 ( [accessed 3 January 2021]).
  5. a b Koblenz: Life imprisonment in state torture trial in Syria . In: The Mirror . January 13, 2022, ISSN  2195-1349 ( [accessed January 13, 2022]).
  6. Life imprisonment in Koblenz trial over state torture in Syria . In: . January 13, 2022, accessed January 13, 2022.