Skip to main content

tv   Doc Film - Testifying against Assad - Seeking Justice for Syria  Deutsche Welle  July 12, 2018 9:15pm-10:00pm CEST

9:15 pm
striker mario. scored the winning goal in extra time giving his team a two one when fans in the croatian capital zagreb went wild waving national flags and players they celebrated late into the night the country will face print in the final on so. i'll be back at the top of the hour with more on the. state by state. colorful. the liveliest. the most traditional. find it all that any time. check in with a web special. take a tour of germany state by state. on w dot com. president
9:16 pm
thanks for giving us the opportunity this is your first in the talent around us watching an interview with bashar al assad in which the syrian president is confronted with photos of people tortured to death. sondra jets the claim that they were killed by his own security forces so you can bet you thought he told you just spoke by god i just think he was i was there and my friends died in front of my eyes because of torture and until this very moment there are people who are dying because of torture if we are getting the civilians who are we defending syria because support for assad dismisses criticism as efforts to demonize his regime if it were to drive them i've been tortured everyone i met in the present been tortured so tonight it's a big lie in it is a way of defense of the government against the people you know the execution is part of the city under the student government voice and you fall through the. they
9:17 pm
can make it legally but with me there for decades they don't get anything sick with the execution according to the low of thirty trial been for legal action and don't allow to any lawyers do and even for the prisoners. all hold. one or two minutes to their decision. execution the people who saw. one. november the fourth twenty sixteen syrian human rights lawyer and while boney
9:18 pm
launches an appeal on facebook. we are looking for people who were abducted taken to intelligence service jails two one five two two seven and two three five and tortured them we want to press charges in germany and send a clear message to the torture is in syria there is no impunity. one hundred people responded that same day offering to testify as witnesses. hunted around once was in germany when he saw the appeal he had heard good things about the syrian human rights lawyer album he was known for his courage in defending countless political detainees at trials in syria. less. thus far i was surprised actually. here i
9:19 pm
had an opportunity to bring criminal charges. despite not being german. yeah exactly and chance for me so as i said it was an opportunity. and as soon as i saw the appeal. i talked to and where right away. in twenty fifteen khalid and his wife were able to escape and come to germany where they were recognized dance political refugees they had taken part in a mass protests against assad in twenty eleven was peaceful activists plus they were on the syrian intelligence agencies wanted list at the end of twenty eleven they had been arrested by military intelligence in damascus and taken to the new torrijos branch to one find they are now to give evidence to the german attorney general all the karpin strip in this present they were like totally like ruin the quiet for a week or whatever it is because it's not something that they are used to you know
9:20 pm
there was a shock to get into the room and they just told you and they never told you to take off your clothes it was like a surprise thing you know took off your pants and took off her dress and took off your cup to look at and in every step they will ask you to do it again you know and you will be are you serious i'm not going to be like totally naked you would never know it was stripped they stripped me when i went. totally naked and he did sexually harassed they they thought they might do whatever he tried to do something hundred does not want to talk about the man a torture only about how he was forced to watch the torture is at work helping me at the ford taught by four of them this is by saying they were tortured. four was torture in itself and on the. scene in the days that by and i had to go down on my knees and watch. on my part of my heart and they held my head up by
9:21 pm
my hair to force me to watch. long saying they had a long chain with a hook on the airline. and on the end beat the two prisoners on the back with the whole. focus on it is the whole of open on the flies it is hell i can see the exposed flash on and. come to see him for me personally for me as on this that image was the worst thing i experienced. on the show. there is now widespread evidence of syrian intelligence running a network of detention facilities called branches all across damascus branch two one five was the destination for many of the demonstrators arrested during protests like khalid and appear the interrogation and torture rooms are said to be located
9:22 pm
in the six and seven stories. branch two for eight is linked to executions conducted without trial. ranche two to seven has seen thousands of cases of arbitrary detention as usual in underground cells two to seven is the branch with the highest number of deaths the syrian air forces intelligence wing is considered the most brutal agency one of its torture divisions is located in measure a at a military airport you may hear dying from torture starvation and the general conditions of detention. berlin summer twenty seventeen. a confidential meeting at the european center for constitutional and human rights to prepare the criminal charges against the torturers the german attorneys here specialize in international law they work together with syrian lawyer and journalist must end darwish in human rights and while bernie. instead of accusing
9:23 pm
individual torturers the team of targeting the top of the chain of command high ranking officials from syrian intelligence services. education. international law expert patrick crocker explains to colleagues attending the meetings how german law also covers officials who failed to prevent crimes which were not for something you did but for something that you didn't do and what you didn't do is you did stop the people that committed the crimes and didn't stop the fire but think you have to be sure that those places the lawyers know that officials did know what was going on and not just because the reports of torture leaking to the outside world is such. that you know. as.
9:24 pm
well having themselves been imprisoned by the regime for five years and darwish for three and a half. in two thousand and two germany adopted the code of crimes against international law meaning it can now try crimes against humanity war crimes and genocide in germany even if they were committed elsewhere in accordance with the principle of universal jurisdiction is. utterly unrealistic right now and to think that syria itself could take these cases to trial they can see the principle enables any state in the world to assume jurisdiction and investigate these crimes. all the options. and potentially in germany for example goes across accuse the perpetrator should they enter the country. despite them having no connection to germany despite the
9:25 pm
crime having been committed in syria and then probably being a syrian national that is the background to the principle of universal jurisdiction . and while bunny is reluctant to take time out from his work he does make exceptions for journalists due to the public safety factor something you learn from decades of cases in damascus representing those persecuted for political reasons. his commitment to human rights and freedom of expression would not have been possible without the involvement of journalists from outside syria and also afforded him protection but after syria signed an international convention against torture in two thousand and four how bernie was deemed too dangerous for the regime. we hope it's will be inside to do something we know he will not do so because syrian side with as many agreement international agreement and in go it in.
9:26 pm
so we'd like to use this agreement to say stop the torture in syria in fact there is that we have to do because i think i spoke about. the asian place in syria there is significant as a. one year after his release in twenty eleven his friend and fellow activist little mark two crews had ducted the figure of all thora t. in the syrian legal world to this day nobody has seen or heard from him since. it is his duty to continue their common struggle for justice and the key issue here and the jails run by the intelligence agencies everybody in syria from zero to from the stories of the day she needs who were released or their parents. and the detention they got in the jail or in the station. but they
9:27 pm
didn't spoke about it because afraid they didn't spoke loudly that public the more secret weapon of sister jeanne to put the people in fields in here or just feel. to head up for. failure. he still says he going to open it was a petition. to me except of course i want. marzan darwish also has a photo of missing lawyer to look on his war alongside photos of friends and colleagues who have likewise disappeared darwish is a lawyer and activist for the syrian center for media and freedom of expression. darwish founded the center in damascus in two thousand and four when it was raided for a third time in twenty twelve the air force intelligence service arrested fourteen
9:28 pm
staff including darwish and his wife you're are there. now to being the last to be released in twenty fifteen if you like to. since then he's been continuing his struggle to ensure a democratic and peaceful syria. especially the north. face of this kind before. the bad condition. families who feel that they. ignore nobody care about their suffering. and really if we don't find. justice solution for those people who flew off with them just there's no justice of the. human right it's. not that fate so we
9:29 pm
push to go to the extent of. thought. they should like either or isis. human rights organizations estimated well over one hundred thousand people in syria are in captivity or hap disappeared eighty percent of them following government orders. many families in syria have somebody who is missing whether detained or disappeared. marzan darwish and yet are by their determined to ensure that these people are not forgotten they launched a global search for witnesses from syria in their efforts to file criminal charges . the united nations have proved to be a singular disappointment for seven years the body has been observing events in
9:30 pm
syria starting with the revolution and its violent suppression the un human rights council set up a commission of inquiry which has since compiled thousands of documents on crimes against humanity in syria but no action has been taken darwish him by ten what is now its fourteenth session. in this we cannot allow impunity. if impunity prevails in syria and should work crimes and crimes against humanity will become legal everywhere. without legal review the terrorist continue to escalate it will work that is why justice is so important to us as moon blood that. the human rights activists want to be heard before the united nations as a voice of syria's civilian population as a voice committed soley to human rights and not compromised by overriding political interests.
9:31 pm
we continue to strongly support the mandate of the commission of inquiry and welcome its critical work in investigating agreed just human rights violations and abuses as well as violations of international humanitarian law of which the syrian government remains the primary perpetrator but widespread practice of enforced disappearances torture and execution by the regime reinforces the need for a transition to a government that can protect the rights of all syrians demands consistently dismissed by the syrian government and backed up by russia in that election the election commission bases its work on statements from anonymous witnesses which is not credible that uses reports from dubious sources to and from governments hostile to syria. the commission is not trustworthy jamelia. you know when you're not the commissioner makes no mention of the war crimes that were committed with weapons
9:32 pm
from the united states. you knew it up through. the human rights activists are determined to prevent the politicians having the only opinion on events in their country you know about here the young woman arrested by the syrian regime on terrorism charges presents her central demand. now but many like that are we just as a democratic transition and accountability we cannot proceed without official recognition of the crimes committed but without compensation for the victims as part of an investigation by a transitional justice. the family out there. when it's the turn of nongovernmental organizations to speak of the end of the commission meeting most journalists are no longer listening. all eyes ears and cameras on this day or on carla del ponte the syrian commission's most determined special investigator resigned because even in the seventh year of the investigation there is still no
9:33 pm
criminal court for syria on behalf of the international community she has documented the most serious human rights violations to no avail. i resign to put an end to my frustration as former prosecutor after more than five years active in the commission we we call not up chain from the international community and from the security council it is a little short putting in place a trade deal not a job you know the dock for the bar or the crimes of that that komi did in syria and we are in the saving of the commission of crimes severe crimes against humanity including genocide and war crimes can be tried in the international criminal court in the hague one hundred twenty four countries have read. it's all thora to but syria is not among them which is why the hague is not an option here
9:34 pm
the last resort would be for the security council to have the case referred to a special tribunal on syria. but so far attempts have been vetoed by russia and china. carla del ponte he said she did not want to be an alibi for inaction by the international community. so side to say that right now i don't see a way out. i don't see the political will to achieve justice and i feel that other. by and i still imagine that the high officials a political and military leaders might one day appear in court. but it is a little bit careful because a whole lot i have to admit it's only a small unfortunately and of blood. and the human rights violations documented in syria are appalling you.
9:35 pm
know you for i have come across a new methods of torture i had never heard of before in forty years for a limb and most importantly it. other torch it involves keeping people alive for as long as possible before they die. and that is unbelievable this is. meanwhile the syrian human rights activists refuse to give up on their course. and know that tomorrow there is nothing to change we will not get further tomorrow my usual but this is a process we should keep fighting keep trying to achieve some succeed and this is a mile apart from the justice. to take time need a little for a fourth and walk the most from what on earth to keep the voice of the victim the
9:36 pm
voice of her family is the listen here in the united nation of. beer five hoot and holler to our us new things who get dangerous when one thousand sided to join the attempted revolution in twenty eleven anyone talking of freedom and democracy risked jail but the artist and her future husband refused to be intimidated the resistance to the regime bolstered their confidence when state security forces began shooting at the demonstrators they considered alternative forms of protest the would not make them direct targets. was like i don't know more than hundred a lot of number of people and they would they work freedom. democracy and we just threw a lot of number of balls from the street the same see the cars work on and this and the board could keep going down until it nearby the house that they live in and it
9:37 pm
was so beautiful and another one that with the red thing it was like also good for all of that in the lake so we have a lot of fountains in the markets in a lot of squares and the color the of the. waterworld read the same time we were we were like coloring the supporter there were like hundreds of people killed in that . it was protests like leads that led them to being added to the intelligence agencies wanted list before the first year of the revolution was over agents tracked down a holiday and a beer and took them to branch to one five. let's call it that. when it comes to the issue of human rights violations the syrian community in berlin rallies together they include torture survivors and families who do not know where their
9:38 pm
loved ones are or whether they are even alive. the organizers of this meeting in berlin also invited kathleen mushy ul head of the un's new investigation on syria's war crimes in syria established despite fears resistance from russia he said of just gathering documents she has been tasked with preparing court proceedings despite the absence of a syria trying you know the former french judge praises the efforts of the syrian lawyers and is frank in her criticism of the international community's failures it is a syrian society not that originally the prosecutors are the judges were taking the lead in the civil society that decides that report is enough and that we need action to disallow action they can then. very courageous and. and very professional prosecutors that they have cases for marzan darwish mushy or elles
9:39 pm
independent status is essential. their witnesses are afraid of becoming victims of revenge again once the regime has regained complete control is that is why we need a neutral institution affiliated to the u.n. so that the witnesses feel comfortable testifying and do not have to be silent on what happened. or why them and. june the twenty ninth twenty seventeen and historic day in cannes were home to germany supremum court. martin darwish gave testimony to germany's attorney general. it was the first time the journalist was able to speak before judicial officials without fearing his statements could land him in prison. yeah actually that is the look of. the most and brought them in their hope that the count's send them there so that there is no more impunity and
9:40 pm
justice it's possible even for the syrian after all what happened and will is for the sliver as a human being we don't accept this kind of. war crime against them the city humanity and say no this is what the what a problem for a lot of. muslim darwish was questioned by the german state attorneys over the course of two days he testified on his own three year imprisonment and how he was tortured daily for an entire year you also reported about friends in the same prison who did not survive the ordeal i am a trainee dentist was tortured to death and there are photos of girls whose body and those of over six thousand others. a syrian military photographer had to take pictures of those tortured to death after over two years he could no longer stomach
9:41 pm
it and deserted subsequently smuggling his photos out of the country he is codenamed caesar for his own protection his pictures catalogue the systematic human rights crimes by the regime in damascus. on this particular day darwish was interviewed for twelve hours with many traumatic memories resurfacing. because. the german attorney general was unusually candid in his assessment of the photos taken by caesar documenting the murderous torture. he. sees or files testified to thousands of ordeals thousand thousands of desecrated bodies mention we have subjected the files to a legal and forensic examination and i know you was to meet its initial and. we want to clarify why these people had to die. these and more investigations also
9:42 pm
have the aim of your terminating who the originator is about all fish who is responsible for these people having to die in such conditions and most indecent we believe that the seas are files are authentic the globe and as this is an. inducement it's and. france has also opened investigations into the responsible parties from the syrian regime. five years ago the life of. change radically the french syrian and his wife stopped going dancing and playing bridge and going out to meet friends. they had received a phone call from a beta sister in law in damascus the syrian air force intelligence service had conducted a nighttime raid on her home in the upscale embassy district first taking away her son patrick. the next day they picked up obeyed his brother. a french teacher
9:43 pm
a fellow prisoner released shortly afterwards told him what he saw on. the stand with their heads against the wall for twelve hours. was in had taken off his slippers. then in the afternoon they brought patrick in. they were forbidden to speak he. died no problem i'm fine. his father asked were you tortured. no no i'm all right but he wanted to reassure his father but after what the witness told us we did have the impression that they had tortured the boy. then they were separated again. my son was led into a cell and his last words we knew were let me out of here i'm suffocating that was it the last sign of life.
9:44 pm
durbar decided to take action using contacts in syria proved a hopeless undertaking he then addressed the french president the foreign minister and other senior officials his brother a nephew like yourself are french citizens the bar received polite and sympathetic responses from the palace. up in iraq on the door of the right to the top. but nothing else happened at all it was not immediately but then french t.v. picked up on the story the international federation for human rights intended to refer the case to the french judiciary. then filed charges in paris concerning inforced disappearance with lawyer claim aspect at now finally state prosecutors launched proceedings. with the assad regime providing zero information
9:45 pm
on the whereabouts of the brother and nephew witness testimony is vital. clear miles back tot contacted human rights organizations to find people who had been in the same prison at the same time bill currently is in syria denied all accusations of kidnapping. on that. and while bruni in berlin informed her that there was one witness in germany he had likewise been in the prison run by the air force intelligence service for them in the. law and according to al bruni the witness was able to provide detailed testimony. is one which officers served there. how interrogations were conducted. and how the general conditions were about. to. get well. you know. that i gather the fact that
9:46 pm
a dictatorial regime makes people disappear and provides no information for the family is a form of terror it is political terror that is deliberately it's an organized set up the fact that obeyed and the whole family are in the dark about the fate of passion and mars then is the decision of the bash al asad regime and that's what we're trying to say it's organized and i said that if. you do if there are orders involved here. it was planned this way for a fair. the next day and while bernie arrives in paris as does the witness from germany who did not wish to be filmed because he still has relatives living in syria. revealing his identity would put them at risk of reprisals potentially fatal from the regime. that fear
9:47 pm
also complicates the work of investigators in europe across the continent there are witnesses of victims and also perpetrators who have defected the authorities in paris only have access to the witness from germany because the syrian lawyer was able to gain his confidence. that. and while goony intends to testify himself before french investigators another in cling of hope for abated. as in germany the aim is to see international arrest warrants issued against the heads of syrian intelligence a warning shot to those responsible if they arrested while crossing an international border they could then face trial a move also intended to discourage the perpetrators from committing further acts of violence. for four years now
9:48 pm
abated obama has been waiting for a sign of life from his brother and nephew. khalid around us has found a job as a mechanical engineer in the german port city of east mark which will be the small families knew her. his daughter as mina has never set foot in syria her parents' homeland. i have moved more than eight times in the last five years. how are ya but there's no place like home or proper that is. a hope to go back soon my. we ask him what home means to him. i don't yet have a clear answer on that. and for me. home is where i am.
9:49 pm
and where i find my goal for mine. the outbreak of the revolution meant to dream come true for a beer she was overjoyed to see syrians daring to go out onto the streets and peacefully stand up for their rights what has since happened there however she finds extremely distressing. oh evolution has become a civil war and the media and our revolution to become that isis that it's all over that no one ever talked about the originating war and this is really hurt us because there is a lot of people being. killed in the lot people being tortured is to learn what you know. so there are no. more a seriously. and
9:50 pm
while bernie wants to hear the testimony of additional witnesses in norway is only option is to travel from one country to the next to prepare for the case until perhaps there is after all an international tribunal on syria. has alberni waits to meet a witness he receives the devastating phone call. the caller tells him of rumors that his old friend and colleague has died in captivity that had been no news of him for five years the rumors are unconfirmed but the call is deeply upsetting to everyone who knew him. sad news for us anyway when. he was arrested on. the existing you'll
9:51 pm
it's moved a lot of worship of old has been more to you for. me meets the witness in his hotel as sam was twenty two when he was arrested by syrian military intelligence the young man now wants to submit a detailed account of his ordeal the lawyer looks for evidence that corroborates reports from other witnesses before combining the individual's statements to form a broader picture of what by that time was crammed into a four by four meters cell with one hundred ten other people they were stripped and forced to stand all day long they were allowed to go to the toilet once
9:52 pm
a day and had to sleep on top of each other. all they were given to eat was bread and dirty water many suffocated others died of starvation or because their wounds from torture were left untreated. it's been six months since a beer and khaled filed criminal charges with german prosecutors with the help of anwar alberni the case has set a precedent being the first example of war crimes and human rights violations being investigated while the conflict in question is still ongoing actually this conflict and i guess parts of the middle for motion action that can justice is one hour like this a big main part of their evolution that was started because i love the end we just want to continue we are not going to surrender. like everything but the sad that
9:53 pm
it's a message to the people to the people that being to the family that has the right son has been killed in torture it's it's it's worked out for the people that's told the president that we are thinking about it and we are doing something. that is if you like. in you know not in in only like talking or only like having a report or what ever we are we are trying to do like actually on. the day on which anwar alberni delivers his testimony to the german attorney general in carl's were is perhaps one of the most important in his life. i feel we start to close friends and for that yes. it's a good because it's my go to michael good to help just. to find. some.
9:54 pm
hope hold on. to the syrian future and while bernie will be naming the officials overseeing the torture and the senior intelligence service officers who have been committing serious human rights violations with complete impunity the most senior is alie mom look head of all four intelligence services and twenty twelve he was appointed director of the national security bureau. left ten a general rafi dame head of military intelligence until twenty fifteen and considered a close adviser to a sat on strategic issues. a successor mohamed is also among the accused general mohammed was the head of the notorious torture center branch two three five . head of the air force intelligence service is considered the most brutal official likewise stands accused of involvement in the violent suppression of the
9:55 pm
civilian population the german prosecutor has two objectives. to next to my feet inversely take those people who are parties to these crimes by those who were responsibility for torture initially and work rhymes and crimes against humanity and the kinds of we want them to know that germany is not a safe haven. and to the victims we also want to give them a clear message that they are being taken seriously allan's our aim is to investigate the suffering they were subjected to and also to look at the perpetrators provided they're here in germany or europe and make them accountable and. that is the hope for these syrians the hope for justice and a life in freedom. how we can get. that. to happen. i was here.
9:56 pm
for this for so i think it's very important the justice of culpability of constructs justice. in myself to give i hope for the. last for a happy. with my children and i hope this with my children the other children will become a friend. of a glass i really. like that. i would not believe she's a nice. person i would pick. up a flight should put stuff on it like i. said. maybe i should see that you're not look like her. input spoke of mind i think
9:57 pm
of my daughter. and so i wanted to feel comfortable in the future when she might ask me for this what did you do about it it has to come out on the fourth i want to be able to send an unambiguous message to my daughter now faced with i'm that we did do something massive mind off the shaken the soviet it's what album. why will acts and i will live as a person has the brights and no one has the right to take my word for me this is what i want my daughter to see fit to see me not pm. labeled. or the following with the following bill delete without thinking. i will just leave the light there won't let my daughter know that she can do anything she wants if it's the right thing to do.
9:58 pm
moving the fun beethoven. his works and the goddess fortune up. the mushrooms and favors. the children first bond twenty.
9:59 pm
sarno just couldn't get this song out of his head. musicologist began searching for the source of these captivating sounds. and found that deep in the rainforest in central africa. the bayaka people. nothing else. and the little bullock was a big lesson with. my own little costs he was so fascinated by their culture that he stayed. only a promise to meet sarno leave the jungle and return to the concrete and glass jungle but. the result reverse culture shock. the cars winning documentary from the forest starts aug ninth on d w.
10:00 pm
n a. this is. the. president. hours later he. winning big spending increases from nato members even. more controversy after the british people might.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on