Episode 5

They Pay Twice

It's the most effective weapon and yet, it's free: sexual and gender-based violence. By exploiting deeply-rooted gender norms, the Syrian regime attempts to break an entire society, one family at a time. In Koblenz, the judges have been asked to consider these types of crimes as crimes against humanity. This episode we'll explore why they deserve that label, and why they weren't considered crimes against humanity already.

For more information and regular updates on the trial, follow us on Twitter.

You can also listen on our website.

Joumana's report 'Words Against Silence'

Pinar's HRW report: 'They Treated Us in Monstrous Ways'

Lawyers and Doctors for Human Rights report on male sexual violence

The Day After report on SGBV in Syrian detention centers

SREO report on societal attitudes towards SGBV in Syria

Deutsche Welle article on the motion

Hannah el-Hitami's article about the motion

Women Now for Development

ECCHR trial reports

Syria Justice and Accountability Centre's monitoring of the trial


Today’s episode was made possible with the support of Förderfonds Demokratie.

Logo design by laurenshebly.nl -- Photo by James Lawler Duggan/AFP/Getty Images.

Music by Kevin McLeod and via blue dot sessions.

About the Podcast

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

About your hosts

Profile picture for Fritz Streiff

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
Profile picture for Asser Khattab

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.
Profile picture for Saleem Salameh

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.