Syrian torture survivors seek justice in Norway


Five Syrian torture survivors living in Norway have filed legal complaints against senior officials of the Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) announced on Tuesday.

“Trials and investigations in Europe can pave the way to end impunity for grave crimes committed by the government of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad,” the Berlin-based institution said in a statement.

The complaint of the Syrian nationals documented crimes committed by 17 senior officials of the regime connected to the Military Intelligence, General Intelligence and Political and Criminal Security divisions.

Lawyers asked the Norwegian prosecutors to investigate these 17 intelligence officials and issue international arrest warrants.

One of the plaintiffs, who was detained by the Syrian General Intelligence and subjected to various torture techniques, said he wanted to see those responsible for Assad’s torture system to stand trial.

“I joined this criminal complaint in Norway because in my own country, there is no prospect of achieving accountability. Investigations in Europe will send an important signal to Syria: no one, not even high-ranking officials, are above the law,” he said.

The legal initiative was backed by several institutions including the ECCHR, Syrian Center for Legal Research and Studies (SCLRS), the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), the Caesar Files Group (CFSG), and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC).
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