Germany issues international arrest warrant for senior Syrian intelligence officer

Berlin, 8th June 2018: German prosecutors have issued an international arrest warrant for the head of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence, Jamil Hassan, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The testimonies of 24 Syrian torture survivors and activists contributed to the arrest warrant.

The claimants were supported in bringing their criminal complaints by SRT grantee the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), together with Syrian lawyers Anwar al-Bunni (of SRT grantee the Syrian Centre for Legal Studies and Research) and Mazen Darwish (Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression).

In addition to Jamil Hassan, the criminal complaints name 26 other high-level officials in the Syrian intelligence services and military. The allegations include crimes against humanity and war crimes. One of the criminal complaints was filed by activists of the group supporting the work of ‘Caesar’, a former employee of the Syrian military police who documented systematic torture in government detention facilities. ECCHR prepared and filed the complaints together with the Syrian torture survivors, lawyers and activists.

Wolfgang Kaleck, General Secretary of ECCHR, said, ‘The arrest warrant against Jamil Hassan is a milestone and an important step for all affected by the Assad’s torture system – for the survivors, for the family members and also for those who are still held in the government-run detention facilities all over Syria’.

Anwar al-Bunni said, ‘This decision in Germany confirms that justice must be respected as a principle and will not be ignored for any political reason. It is also a victory for the survivors who have been waiting for justice for a long time.’

Full press release from ECCHR’s website:

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