Imagine walking down a street in a European capital and meeting your torturer. For many Syrian refugees fleeing war and human rights abuses, Europe was meant to be a sanctuary. So it was a shock when people began bumping into their torturers out shopping or in a cafe. In fact many of those involved in the Syrian government’s notorious interrogation facilities are hiding in plain sight in European cities having used the refugee wave as a “ratline” out of the country. More and more are now being investigated, arrested and put on trial in European courts. But with President Assad firmly in control in Syria the long arm of the state is reaching those willing to testify. For Assignment, Chloe Hadjimatheou and Michael Ertl look at how the Syrian war is continuing to play out in Europe.

Presented and produced by Chloe Hadjimatheou and Michael Ertl
Editor: Bridget Harney

(Image: A woman shows a picture of her Syrian relatives outside the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany, 13 January 2022. Credit: EPA/Sascha Steinbach)