Syria doctor living in Germany charged with crimes against humanity

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A Syrian doctor living in Germany was charged Wednesday with crimes against humanity after being accused of 18 counts of torturing people in military hospitals in the Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe said that Alla Mousa, who came to Germany in 2015, is accused of 18 counts of torturing people in these military hospitals, including allegations that he tried to make people infertile. Mousa had been practicing medicine in Germany before he was arrested.

The Office said the crimes were committed after the beginning of the opposition uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2011, where protesters were frequently arrested and tortured.

In February, a German court convicted a former member of Assad’s secret police of facilitating the torture of prisoners and sentenced to four and a half years in prison. This was the first time that a court outside of Syria had ruled in a case alleging Syrian government officials committed crimes against humanity.

The founder of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, Wolfgang Kaleck, stated that the trial of Mousa means the role of military hospitals and medical staff in the system could be addressed for the very first time and mentioned its importance in terms of addressing sexual violence as an oppressive tool.