A group of European human rights lawyers say they have filed complaints with German federal prosecutors on behalf of 15 Syrians, alleging they were victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes by President Bashar Assad's government.

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights said Wednesday one complaint involves allegations of torture and other crimes at the hands of Syrian Air Force Intelligence. Nine Syrians in Germany and two Syrian lawyers are listed as complainants in that case.

The second complaint from four Syrians alleges torture and other crimes at Saydnaya military prison.

In all, 17 Syrian officials are named.

Germany can initiate investigations under universal jurisdiction laws, but cannot try suspects in absentia. The ECCHR says it hopes Germany will file charges that could be taken up later by international courts.