On Monday, February 8, the human rights organization Amnesty International published a 48-page report accusing the Syrian government of mass executions and tortures in Saydnaya prison. According to the watchdog, between September 2011 and December 2015, an estimated 5,000 and 13,000 people were extrajudicially executed.
The methods used by the report to count the alleged ‘victims’ is quite contradictory. Amnesty International admits it had little direct evidence for its claims. Instead, the report was based on conjectures and the words of former prison detainees and commentators who are linked to the Syrian opposition and have lived outside the country for a long time.
Amnesty International could name only 375 people who allegedly died as a result of ill-treatment in Saydnaya. However, even that information is compromised due to its source–the UK-based Syrian Network for Human Rights. According to that foreign-based agency’s website and Twitter feed, it has nothing positive to say about the ceasefire agreements that have been reached across Syria in the past six weeks. It reports next to nothing about the horrific violence visited upon the Syrian people since 2011 by extremists backed by foreign powers. It looks to a United Nations-controlled process for a political settlement in Syria instead of the one initiated by the Syrian government and its allies following the liberation of eastern Aleppo in December 2016, even though the UN has for years failed to bring peace to Syria and the agency’s representatives in the country have bitterly disappointed the Syrian people. Another peculiar fact of the Amnesty report is that, according to the authors, death sentences are approved by the Grand Mufti of Syria. The report says that “the judgement is sent to the Grand Mufti and to either the Minister of Defense or the Chief of Staff of the Army who are deputized to sign for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and who specify the date of the execution.” No evidence is provided. The authors forget that Syria is a secular state and religious officials have no authority or expectation to interfere in the country’s policy. Any suggestions by The Grand Mufti’s are legally non-binding recommendations concerning Islamic law and have no legal force.
Other approaches by Amnesty also seem quite strange. To show all the ‘horrors’ of Saydnaya prison, the organization constructed a 3D, computerized model of the prison. Amnesty hired professional designers who later acknowledged that all the images were based on hearsay and descriptions provided by anonymous sources.
None of Amnesty’s employees or activists have ever seen the prison or visited Syria, geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci writes in his investigation. Moreover, Amnesty International has a long record of accommodating its work to such Western government initiatives as the ‘Responsibility To Protect’ doctrine, by which Western powers assume the right to attack governments and countries deemed threats to Western interests.
A case in point is 1990, when Amnesty played a key role in the false accusations against the government of Iraq that its armed forces had stolen incubators from Kuwait, leaving to die the babies being treated. Some years later, the U.S. news outlet Democracy Now! Reported, “On December 19, 1990, Amnesty International published an 84-page report on human rights violations in [Iraq-] occupied Kuwait. The report stated that, “300 premature babies were reported to have died after Iraqi soldiers removed them from incubators, which were then looted.” This allegation, which was widely reported by the global media, became one of the most often cited justifications for the 1991 Gulf War.”
The United States went to war again against Iraq, this time in 2003. Amnesty International failed to oppose that war even though it was based on another monstrous lie: that the Iraqi government possessed and could well use ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Here is how Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, responded to the UK government-commissioned Chilcot Inquiry report of July 2016 which harshly condemned the UK government of the time for joining the U.S.-led war in Iraq: “In the lead-up to the invasion, Amnesty International urged that the potentially grave consequences of military action be carefully assessed. And on the eve of the U.S.-led invasion, we urged full respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law…”
It should be recalled that in the lead-up to the 2003 war, some human rights observers as well as weapons control advocates warned sharply that the claims of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ were false. But Amnesty International was instead counselling that the warmaking parties should “carefully assess” their plans, and in the event of war, they should follow “international law”.
Pressures by Western propaganda against Syria have recently heightened. The Amnesty report, prominently disseminated by Western media, appears to belong to those bogus papers propagandists use for their purposes. Today, unfortunately, various human rights organizations serve the interests of only those who sponsor or favour them.
The issue for the world in Syria is the need to end the war, the foreign intervention that is driving that war, and the resulting humanitarian tragedy. The timing of the Amnesty International report, its flawed methodology and the inaccurate and exaggerated numbers of prisoners subjected to institutional violence risk dealing a serious blow to a promising peace process. Is this how a human rights organization with such prestige should conduct itself?
By Mehmet Ersoy
Inside Syria Media Center
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In January, Russia fired Ukraine as its natural gas transit for Europe. The pipeline across Ukraine was ideally positioned for this function. However, Ukraine’s practice of failing to pay for the natural gas it used and the outright hostility of the Kiev junta toward Russia were simply too much. Russia gave notice that the spigot would be turned off permanently in 2019. (Image: WikiCommons)
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But the Golan Heights does ...
This text was first published on March 8, 2015,
The Islamic State is not only protected by the US and its allies, it is trained and financed by US-NATO, with the support of Israel and Washington’s Persian Gulf allies.
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THE GLOBALIZATION OF NATO
Author: Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Clarity Press (2012)
Pages: 411 with complete index
Available to order from Global Research
The world is enveloped in a blanket of perpetual conflict. Invasions, occupation, illicit sanctions, and regime change have become currencies and orders of the day. One organization – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – is repeatedly, and very controversially, involved in some form or another in many of these conflicts led by the US and its allies. NATO spawned from the Cold War. Its existence was justified by Washington and Western Bloc politicians as a guarantor against any Soviet and Eastern Bloc invasion of Western Europe, but all along the Alliance served to cement Washington’s influence in Europe and continue what was actually America’s post-World War II occupation of the European continent. In 1991 the raison d’être of the Soviet threat ended with the collapse of the USSR and the ...
Dear Readers and Friends:
The distinguished and knowledgeable international commentator William Engdahl, in a superb statement, has expressed the view I gave you that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech on September 28 at the 70th anniversary of the United Nations changed the balance of power in the world. Until Putin’s speech the world was intimidated by the Washington Bully. Resistance to Washington brought swift retribution. In the Middle East and Africa it brought economic sanctions and military invasions that destroyed entire countries. In France and other US vassal states it brought multi-billion dollar confiscations of bank net worth as the price of not following Washington’s policies toward other countries.
Other countries felt powerless in the face of the arrogant hegemonic Unipower, which from time to time replied to noncompliance with threats, such as US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage delivered to Pakistan, to bomb noncompliant countries “back to the stone age.” ...
The words “possible criminal actions” by CIA employees are used in the report.
The terms unethical and immoral are mentioned. The criminality of those who ordered these actions at the highest levels of government, however, is not acknowledged.
The actions directed against alleged jihadists are categorized as ineffective in the process of revealing intelligence. This in itself is a red herring. The objective of torture was not to reveal intelligence.
What of course is not acknowledged is that the alleged terrorists who were tortured were framed by the CIA.
Known and documented the Al Qaeda network is a creation of US intelligence.
The jihadists are “intelligence assets”.
Torture serves to perpetuate the legend that the evil terrorists are real and that the lives of Americans are threatened.
Torture is presented as “collateral damage.” Torture is an integral part of war propaganda which consists in demonizing the alleged terrorists.
And the Senate committee report ultimately upholds the ...
Author’s note and Update
The following article was first published in September 2014 at the outset of the air campaign “against the ISIS”. In recent developments Russia has officially joined the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). What are the implications?
Amply documented but rarely mentioned in news reports, the ISIS is a creation of US intelligence, recruited, trained and financed by the US and its allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and Jordan.
What this means is that the ISIS terrorists are the foot soldiers of the Western alliance. While America claims to be targeting the ISIS, in reality it is protecting the ISIS. The air campaign is intent upon destroying Syria and Iraq rather than “going after the terrorists”.
But now Russia is involved in the campaign against the ISIS in coordination with the Syrian and Iraqi governments.
What does that mean? The official story is that Russia supports America’s resolve to fight the terrorists. It’s all for a good cause.
In reality, ...
In Latin America, The Empire Strikes Back
Classified Evidence: US Soldiers Raped Boys In Front Of Their Mothers
Mosul, Iraq and Obama’s Legacy of War
US Imperialism And The New Race To The Arctic
The Empire of Mediocrity and the End of the World
Democracy American Style – Macedonia
Why The West Can Never Defeat Or “Forgive” Russia
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
The Occupied Golan Heights: How Israel Thrives from Syria’s Natural Resources
The Ultimate War Crime: America’s “Global War On Terrorism”
Hiroshima, Vietnam, Cuba: A Hegemonic Power Never Says Sorry…
The Collapse of the European Union: Return to National Sovereignty and to Happy Europeans?
Gavrilo Princip’s grave: The interwar years, 1920-1939
Israeli Military General Compares Israel To Nazi Germany At Holocaust Remembrance Day Event
Boycott bloody President!
U.S. Presidential Lying Is Nothing New
NATO: Proudly Delivering Death Since 1949 – A Book Review
The Role of 9/11 in Justifying Torture and War: The Criminalization of the US State Apparatus. Senate Report on CIA Torture is a Whitewash
“Going After” the Islamic State. Guess Who is Behind the Caliphate Project?
Categories: Islamic State
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