Two men accused of committing crimes against humanity for the Syrian state have gone on trial in Germany.
It is thought to be the first case worldwide examining the use of torture under President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.
The two – identified as Anwar R and Eyad A – allegedly worked as government intelligence officers.
Both fled Syria in the midst of its ongoing civil war and applied for asylum in Germany, where they were arrested in 2019.
Lawyers for the two men declined to talk to reporters before the case opened in Koblenz on Thursday. President Assad and his government have repeatedly denied the use of torture.
But a report by UN human rights experts in March 2018 said the government was detaining tens of thousands of people and subjecting them to “various forms of brutal torture”.