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“Colonel Raslan”, “There were voices” … Podcasts of the week

“The Hunt for an Executioner”, by Lena Bjurström and Brice Andlauer

Who is Colonel Anwar Raslan really? An executioner, certainly, since the former member of the Syrian secret service, arrested in February 2019 in Berlin, was prosecuted for crimes against humanity and tried in April 2020 in Koblenz (Germany). But the reality is more complex, says Lena Bjurström, author of an investigation on the subject for the site Les Jours, at the origin of this documentary series in 10 episodes.

For eight months, this specialist in issues of international justice and the defense of human rights met dozens of witnesses (police officers, investigators, lawyers) who knew and sometimes tracked down Raslan. He is, to this day, the highest ranking Syrian officer ever arrested since the start of the bloody repression of the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

In this first episode, Lena Bjurström gives the floor to Anwar al-Bunni. A great figure in the fight against impunity for the crimes of the Syrian regime, this lawyer who had taken refuge in Germany recognized in a street of Berlin the one who had kidnapped and imprisoned him in Damascus. In the meantime, Raslan had left the intelligence services to join the opposition. Does changing sides erase the crimes of the past? What if Raslan was a double agent?

“Colonel Raslan” Episode 1. (37 min).

“Voices from here and elsewhere”, by Camille Diao


With a Birkin power ten accent, the Franco-American Susie Morgenstern, famous author of children’s books, recently confided to Léa Salamé on France Inter: “I don’t like that you can’t be fully French when you have an accent. ” A testimony that Camille Diao could have gathered to analyze, with her guests, this very French way of stigmatizing any regionally dissonant voice.

“Do I have an accent?” “, quips Gascon Jean Castex. Rare, in fact, are the political personalities at this level of responsibility not to have erased the traces of the soil. If the National Assembly adopted last November a bill against glottophobia (discrimination based on accent), prejudices are persistent, as evidenced by Julie Lafitte, radio journalist from Montauban: “It’s half wank, half seductive. ”

Shame of origins, contempt for class, more or less violent injunctions to adapt to the norm… The accent still makes you “A redneck, a backlog, a working class” according to the linguist Philippe Blanchet, who deciphers with finesse the “Power of a social system” inherited from republican centralism.

“There were voices” (1h05).

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