KOBLENZ, Germany — A German court has convicted a former Syrian secret police officer of crimes against humanity for overseeing the abuse of detainees at a jail near Damascus a decade ago.
The verdict Thursday in the landmark trial has been keenly anticipated by Syrians who suffered abuse or lost relatives at the hands of President Bashar Assad’s government in the country’s long-running conflict.
The Koblenz state court concluded that Anwar Raslan was the senior officer in charge of a facility in the Syrian city of Douma known as Al Khatib, or Branch 251, where suspected opposition protesters were detained.
The court sentenced him to life in prison. His lawyers asked judges last week to acquit their client, claiming that he never personally