German authorities say they have arrested two suspected ex-members of Syria's secret police on suspicion of carrying out or aiding in crimes against humanity.
Federal prosecutors said Wednesday the men were arrested Tuesday in Berlin and the southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Prosecutors said that a 56-year-old high-ranking member of Syria's General Intelligence Directorate, identified only as Anwar R., is accused of participating in the abuse of detainees at a prison he oversaw in Damascus. As lead investigator, he allegedly ordered the use of systematic and brutal torture of anti-Assad activists between July 2011 and January 2012.
Prosecutors say the second man, 42-year-old Eyad A., was part of a unit that arrested hundreds of activists and brought them to the prison run by the other suspect.
Both left Syria in 2012.