BY:THOMAS LOHNES / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Paris – A Statement Issued by the Syrian Network for Human Rights:
The Syrian regime’s security services routinely inflict torture against all detainees as standard policy, with hardly any detainee not having been subjected to some form of torture. The torture inflicted by the Syrian regime’s security services, which report directly to the president of the Syrian regime Bashar al Assad, who is also the commander-in-chief of the country’s army and armed forces, has amounted to crimes against humanity since September 15, 2011, according to the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights , as well as according to the report of the International Commission of Inquiry issued on November 23, 2011. Based on those reports, it was reasonably assumed that the UN Security Council would take action to end these crimes against humanity; instead, nothing happened. While the world was shocked by the photos of Caesar, there has been no serious move to stop the regime’s brutal crimes of torture, although ending such atrocities would be one of the most important steps towards accountability, with the Security Council and the international community failing to take any action towards doing so to date. The number of Syrian citizens documented killed by the Syrian regime and its security services due to torture has reached at least 14,315 individuals, including 74 women and 173 children, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights’ (SNHR) database.
On February 24, 2021, the court in Koblenz in Germany issued a ruling, subject to appeal, sentencing a former regime official, named as Eyad Gh. to four-and-a-half years in prison for being an accomplice to and facilitating the commission of crimes of torture for nearly thirty detainees. Eyad. Gh is a former Chief Warrant Officer at the al Khatib Branch, who defected from the Syrian regime in early 2012, arriving in Germany in April 2018, and being arrested in February 2019. His trial began in April 2020, with several factors contributing to the commutation of the sentence issued against him; among the most prominent of these were his defection from the Syrian regime, his confession to committing violations, his cooperation with the prosecution, his provision of important information about the methods of torture and the brutal system in the regime’s security branches, and his status as a relatively low-ranking official in the hierarchy at the al Khatib Branch, known as ‘Branch 251’.