The lawyer Anwar al-Bunni is one of the founders of the Syrian Centre for Legal Studies and Research which was launched in 2004. He was imprisoned and tortured by the regime of Bashar al-Assad before migrating in 2014 to Germany. There he was part of the legal team that successfully brought the Syrian defector and former colonel Anwar Raslan to trial in 2019 under the principle of universal jurisdiction. Here is his story of how the regime’s victims fought back, as told to Mike Higgins.
I knew Anwar Raslan had been working for the Syrian regime at the detention centre known as Branch 285 when he arrested me in 2006, but I didn’t know what he did after the revolution in 2011. I saw him on the street just after I got to Berlin in 2014, but I couldn’t place where I knew him from – he had changed his hair, his glasses. A few weeks later friends told me that Raslan was in Berlin. At that moment I knew it was him. I saw him twice after that, and I ignored him.