Saturday, January 15, 2022
For the first time, a high-ranking official of the Assad regime in Syria has been found guilty of crimes against humanity, in particular, for overseeing the torture of thousands of anti-government protestors who were detained at the Al-Khatib jail near Damascus known as "Hell on Earth." Anwar Raslan was a high-ranking security officer under Syrian President Assad. He fled to Germany and claimed asylum, but was arrested in 2019 and charged with murder, torture, sexual assault, and rape. The German court tried him pursuant to the principle of universal jurisdiction which permits a State to exercise criminal jurisdiction over a defendant for crimes against humanity regardless of where the crimes were committed or the nationality of the defendant. Raslan was sentenced to life in prison.