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Reax in Idlib after Syrian convicted in Germany

Residents of Idlib, Syria Friday praised the conviction of a former Syrian secret police officer by a German court.

58-year old Anwar Raslan, was the highest ranking Syrian official to be convicted for life, with the possibility of parole after 15 years, for crimes against humanity.

German prosecutors said that Raslan supervised the "systematic and brutal torture" of more than 4,000 prisoners between April 2011 and September 2012, under the Assad regime, resulting in the deaths of at least 58 people in a Syrian prison.

Judges ruled that there was evidence to hold him responsible for 27 deaths.

"This conviction is a first step for success in justice" said Idlib resident Rama Saifo.

"All the people that were killed and tortured at the hands of Anwar Raslan haven't lost their rights," she added.

Another resident Bashar Al Basha shared Salafo's pleasure at the conviction, and hoped that this trial could be emulated by other countries.

"We hope that all European and Arab countries will chase these criminals, these police officers who have caused a massacre amongst innocent civilians and then fled to other countries," he said.

The trial was the first of its kind worldwide in which Germany applied the principal of universal jurisdiction for serious crimes.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights more than 149,000 people in Syria disappeared after detentions following peaceful protests against Assad's government in March 2011.

The Syrian regime denies it is holding any political prisoners.

AP
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