Creator: Mohamed Badarne/ECCHR. All rights reserved.

Discussion evening

Tuesday, 22. March 2022 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm Save in my calendar

Discussion evening

What follows Koblenz and Frankfurt? Dealing with human rights crimes against Syrians in national courts

A discussion with experts and activists

The recent convictions at the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz for state-sponsored torture in Syria, the IS genocide of the Yazidis and the trial over torture in Syrian military hospitals in Frankfurt, which began in February, have attracted attention around the world. They show that German actors – investigative authorities and courts – are pioneers and play an important role in addressing human rights crimes committed in the Middle East. Germany is prosecuting these crimes under international law, which enables third countries to claim jurisdiction over the most serious crimes when trials are not possible locally or internationally. The fact that these proceedings took place is not least due to internationalised investigations where the work was shared, for example among non-governmental organisations from the countries in question, their international partners and UN investigative mechanisms such as the IIIM for Syria.

Can the lessons learned from these successful trials be transferred to other regions where the most serious human rights crimes are systematically committed – and for which there is not yet any prospect of judicial redress? What can and should Germany do right now in its foreign policy to drive this process forward? And where are the limits of trying international crimes in German courts? How does a trial need to be structured to respect the rights of the victims and to actually help the affected communities?

Welcome and introduction:

  • Layla Al-Zubaidi, Head of International Department, Heinrich- Böll- Foundation


  • Katrin Langensiepen, member of the European Parliament, Bündnis90/Green Party
  • Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria (IIIM)
  • Wassim Mukdad, musician, activist and joint plaintiff in the Koblenz trial for state-sponsored torture in Syria
  • Andreas Schüller, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Program Director International Crimes and Accountability

Chaired by:

  • Lotte Leicht, Danish lawyer specialising in international (criminal) law and international human rights, ECCHR Council Chairwoman, Board Member of Dignity DK, member of the Advisory Board of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Reconnect EU

An event hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation together with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)


Birgit Arnhold
Project Coordinator Middle East and North Africa Division
Heinrich Böll Foundation



The following is required for on-site participation in the event:

  • prior registration
  • proof of compliance with the 2G plus rule (vaccinated/recovered plus booster or proof of a negative test result).
  • FFP2 mask
  • on-site check-in for contact tracking via app or form
  • on-time arrival at least 30 minutes before the start of the event
  • follow our hygiene rules for visitors
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung - Headquarter Berlin
Schumannstr. 8
10117 Berlin
Heinrich Böll Foundation - Headquarters Berlin
Simultaneous translation
video Watch livestream