Episode 4

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.

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Some additional sources on this episode and the trial here:

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About the Podcast

Show artwork for Branch 251
Branch 251
Syrian Atrocity Crimes on Trial

About your hosts

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Fritz Streiff

Fritz is a human rights lawyer with a focus on investigations and case-building in the fields of atrocity crimes and anti-corruption. International justice is his big passion. Though podcasts follow pretty closely. He is currently based in Paris, France.

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Noor Hamadeh


Noor Hamadeh is a Syrian-American international lawyer and a nonresident fellow with the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy with a focus on business and human rights in Syria and the MENA region generally. Noor is now based in Chicago, IL
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Asser Khattab

Asser is a freelance journalist and researcher from Syria who has reported on the Middle East from Lebanon for the Washington Post and the Financial Times; from Syria for the Spanish News Agency and others. He now lives in Paris, France.
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Saleem Salameh

Saleem Salameh is an independent writer, filmmaker and podcast producer. Saleem joined multiple Arabic podcast platforms and released five different podcasts. He also trains newcomers and human rights activists on scriptwriting and podcast making. He is currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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Pauline Peek

Pauline Peek is a research assistant, production assistant and history student who also happens to possess a bachelor’s degree in singing. Originally from the Netherlands, she is currently based in Berlin, Germany.
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Hannah El-Hitami

Hannah is a German-Egyptian freelance journalist focused on sociopolitical topics from Arab countries, as well as migration and human rights issues. She has worked for the Amnesty Journal and published in Der Spiegel, Al Jazeera, Justice Info, among others. She is currently based in Berlin, Germany.