Justice for Syria in German Courts
Victims of crimes around the world have increasingly looked to European courts in the hopes of seeing some accountability. The trial of two alleged former Syrian intelligence officials implicated in serious abuses in Syria’s prisons started April 23 in the German city of Koblenz. It’s a hugely significant moment–the first criminal trial in the world involving state-sponsored torture in Syria. The Koblenz case stands out because it will be the first time a former higher-level Syrian official is prosecuted on charges that more fully reflect the breadth of abuses and the type of brutal criminality committed in Syria over the last decade. This is a rare piece of good news in the international justice world, and particularly in the Middle East region. We invite you to a presentation on the trial’s significance, behind the scenes work to promote these types of cases, and what we can expect going forward.
Speaker: Balkees Jarrah is an Associate Director in the International Justice Program where she focuses on the Middle East and North Africa region. She is a former law clerk at the Federal Court of Canada and has worked at the Brookings Institution supporting the mandate of the special representative of the UN Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons. She holds degrees in common law and civil law from McGill University and a Masters from the University of Oxford.
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