Awaiting the Al Khatib Trial
Interview with Anwar Al Bounni
March 13, 2020

In early March, UMAM D&R conducted an interview with Syrian lawyer and former Assad regime prisoner Anwar Al Bounni, a man who will be participating in an upcoming trial in Koblenz, Germany against two former prison officials. The trial will be the first time members of the Syrian regime are held accountable for the torture and atrocities they have committed.

Bounni, who was arrested in 2006 by Anwar Raslan, one of the men being brought to trial, spent five years in prison enduring regular abuse and dehumanization. Bounni and Raslan "reunited" in Germany by chance, although it took the former lawyer a bit of time to remember where he had previously seen Raslan. Once the memories returned, Bounni sought out local lawyers and learned that German authorities were already assembling a case against his old torturer masquerading as a refugee in Germany.

In fact, Raslan is accused of overseeing 58 murders and the torture of 4,000 prisoners at the Al-Khatib detention center in Damascus between 2011 and 2012. Hopefully this trial is just the beginning of a long process to hold the regime and its officers accountable since there are likely hundreds of regime henchmen hiding in plain sight throughout Europe.