Germany convicts Syrian in landmark torture trial

A German court convicts a former Syrian intelligence service agent for complicity in crimes against humanity, in the first court case worldwide over state-sponsored torture by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.

Eyad al-Gharib, 44, is found guilty over his role in helping to arrest protesters and deliver them to a detention center in Damascus in autumn 2011.

“The accused is sentenced to four years and six months for aiding and abetting a crime against humanity in the form of torture and deprivation of liberty,” judge Anne Kerber says.

A justice official removes the handcuffs of Syrian defendant Eyad al-Gharib as he waits to hear the verdict in the court room on February 24, 2021 in Koblenz, western Germany (Thomas Lohnes / various sources / AFP)