SCM welcomes German trial of Anwar R. and Eyad A. and French authorities’ release of Sha’aban I

SCM welcomes German trial of Anwar R. and Eyad A. and French authorities’ release of Sha’aban I


Paris, 23 April 2020

Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)


This morning, Thursday 23 April 2020, in the German city of Koblenz, begins the trial of  Anwar R, former chief investigation officer in the 251 branch of internal security of the General Intelligence Directorate in Syria, and Eyad A, an agent in the same branch, both accused of committing violations against Syrians, including torture and killing under torture. Their arrest by German authorities coincided with the arrest of Sha’aban I. from section 40 of the same security branch, by French authorities for being accused of committing war crimes in Syria.


SCM welcomes the start of trying Anwar R. and Eyad A. by the German courts as a first public and face to face trial of Syrian security officials. This trial corresponds to the vision of the aim of SCM, that trials are the means to reach justice, and, in spite of the absence of litigation in front of the Syrian and international jurisdiction for the time being, universal jurisdiction is an open gate to all those who had been subject to violations, and that justice will be applied regardless of the length of time, and that all those who had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria will face justice because there is no statute of limitations, nor change of circumstances.


Mazen DARWISH, director of SCM says: “Any political agreement in Syria without realizing justice in Syria will not produce a sustainable peace and a safe and voluntary return of the refugees, nor substantial, lasting efforts to combat extremism.  We at SCM attend this trial today as a step on a long road towards justice which will, in turn, pave the way to a sustainable peace.


SCM assures that the aim is driving the suspects to just trials which have all the guarantees and enable the victims to reach their rights and convey their voices far from revengeful acts and to cut the roads to them.


This trial is a new step on a long road, and a following up to former steps like issuing arrest warrants against Jamil al-Hasan in Germany and the arrest warrants against Jamil al-Hasan, Ali Mamlouk and Abdul Salam Mahmoud in France, and last, but not least, the arrest of Islam Allouch, a commander in Jaysh al-Islam, and investigating him in preparation to try him for committing grave crimes against Syrians.


In this context, SCM understanding and assuring insistence on all the condition of just trials, guarantees of defense and rights of the defendants, welcomes the decision of the French investigative judge by which the suspect Shaaban I. was released, who was accused of facilitating war crimes against a warranty of the residence of his brother, provided continuing procedures of investigations and trial against him.


SCM welcomes the start of trying Anwar R. and Eyad A. in German courts, and the continuation of investigation and trials against Sha’aban I. in French courts,  underlining that such trials are not aims in and of themselves, but rather primary steps to chip away at the scourge of impunity.