Germany Charges Syrian Doctor with Crimes against Humanity for Torturing People in Military Hospitals

German federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday that they have filed charges against a Syrian doctor for allegedly torturing and abusing people in military hospitals in his homeland.

In a statement, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe said that Alla Mousa, a doctor who resided in Germany since 2015 and practiced medicine in the country before he got arrested last year, was officially charged with crimes against humanity.

According to the federal prosecutors, investigations revealed that Mousa had also previously worked as a doctor in his homeland, where he allegedly tortured many people and murdered at least one inmate from April 2011 until the end of 2012.

The Syrian doctor is accused of 18 counts of torture and mistreatment of inmates while serving in several military hospitals and prisons in the Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus.

Mousa was said to violently beat prisoners, burn parts of their bodies with fire, sexually violate some of the inmates and forced to make a 14-year-old boy infertile.

The federal indictment charged Mousa with murder, severe bodily harm, attempted bodily harm and dangerous bodily harm.

During the civil unrest against Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2011, protesters were frequently arrested and taken to several military camps and prisons where brutal methods of torture were used to extract confessions or maltreat opposition members.

European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), an independent human rights organization based in Berlin, welcomed the legal action taken by the German federal prosecutors.

“Grave crimes against Syria’s civil society are not only taking place in the detention centers of the intelligence services: Syria’s torture and extermination system is complex and only exists thanks to the support of a wide variety of actors,” Wolfgang Kaleck, a German attorney who serves as the general secretary of ECCHR, said in a statement.

It also said that the trial of Mousa is crucial to address the role of military hospitals and medical institutions in the vicious torture system of Syria.

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