Branch 251

Branch 251

Fritz Streiff and Karam Shoumali
May 22, 2020 17 min

It Wasn't Me

This week in court, the main accused Anwar R. reacted to the accusations against him with a statement that his lawyers read to the court. His defense in short: there was no torture when I was in charge, later others did it, I tried to help but couldn't do more, and then I fled the country. How did this go down in court and how did the public gallery react to his statement? Listen to Karam and Fritz discuss his lengthy and detailed statement. And get comments from survivors of Branch 251 and their lawyer. Subscribe to keep every episode coming to you automatically every week. If you would like to support the podcast, go to our website and click 'Support This Podcast'. You can follow us on Twitter @Fritz_Streiff and @KaramShoumali.
May 15, 2020 18 min

The Two Anwars

How did the Branch 251 trial actually come about? Your hosts Karam and Fritz talked to someone who played an important role in transforming the terrible stories of these crimes into legal cases: Anwar Al Bunni. He has been instrumental in building the case and kick-starting this first criminal trial against Syrian officials. He was also imprisoned himself simply because he was doing his job as a human rights lawyer defending political prisoners in Syria. Eight years ago, he was detained in Branch 251 and was face to face with the main accused Anwar R. who slapped him in the face. But then, he saw him again, years later. In a refugee center in Berlin. And now, once more, in a court of law.
May 07, 2020 27 min

Al Khatib Street or "Hell on Earth"

This episode takes you into Branch 251. Or Al Khatib Branch, as it is known among survivors. Your hosts Karam and Fritz talked to them. Based on their accounts, this is how a detainee's journey looks like from arrest and arrival at the Branch, to the cells and interrogation rooms -- or better: torture chambers. A word of warning: better not listen with kids or just before going to bed. This will likely be the most gruesome episode of the entire podcast. But it is reality. It is the 21st century. In Syria. It is Branch 251.
May 01, 2020 16 min

A Historic Trial

On this first episode of Branch 251, your hosts Fritz and Karam introduce the listeners to the trial that started in Koblenz, Germany, on 23 April 2020.
Apr 28, 2020 2 min

Introducing Branch 251 - Syrian Atrocity Crimes on Trial

This is an introduction to Branch 251, a podcast about the world’s first criminal trial dealing with accusations of crimes against humanity against members of Bashar al Assad’s Syrian military. Find out what this podcast is all about and tune in on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.… And subscribe to keep every episode coming to you automatically every week.… If you would like to support the podcast, follow this link: ( .