In the absence of an English language transcript of the legal case, this report by CNN provides an English translation of a German press-release concerning the case of Ibrahim A. who was sentenced to life imprisonment on the 24thof September 2018 by the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf. Ibrahim A. was found guilty of torture and killing of persons protected under international humanitarian law, as well as for murder, extortionist kidnapping and the commission of war crimes.
According to the evidence, Ibrahim A. commanded Ghoraba as-Sham, a 150-member, armed district militia which operated under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army and controlled several neighborhoods in North-East Aleppo. The militia was known mainly to pursue self-serving aims, including plunder and looting of valuable artefacts. As a commander, he abused the legal vacuum created during the conflict and de facto controlled parts of Aleppo for criminal self-enrichment, including through extortionist kidnapping. Several people were reported to have been detained and tortured by the militia, in the accused’s presence and by him personally. In one case, a kidnapped victim who had been tortured in one of the Ghoraba as-Sham’s prisons died as a result of severe torture and physical abuse. None of the reports we consulted explained how Ibrahim A. came to be in Germany, but he appears to have been living there for several years before being identified by former victims also now resident in Germany. The sentence cannot be appealed.
The original German report can be read here.