The recent report on Syria by the “Indipendent International Commission of Inquiry” (COI)

 

 

THE RECENT REPORT ON SYRIA BY THE “INDIPENDENT INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY” (CoI) mandated by the Human Rights Council is one-sided and lacks evidences

 

Marinella Correggia, ecopeace activist, Italy

 

The No War Network-Roma (Italy) adresses the following note to some country representatives at the United Nations (New York and Geneva).

The recent report on Syria issued by the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry (CoI) offers many conclusions but little real proof to back them up.  The commission was, in fact, able to hear as witnesses only a very small and non-random selection of Syrian citizens.  This has made the Commission's report highly one-sided. It will b discussed on Sept 17th by the Un Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The NoWar Network – Rome (Italy) calls for a negotiated solution to the conflict in Syria, starting with a cease fire.  The Syrian people should, in fact, have the possibility of expressing themselves on their future, in conditions of peace and without foreign interference.

Such a Plan for Peace was recently put forward by a representative of the U.N. It was, however, thwarted by a certain number of foreign powers bent on deliberately exacerbating the conflict in Syria by supplying ever greater amounts of arms and money to those opposition forces striving to gain control of the country through violence.  The foreign powers in question – and their mass media – have justified their patent interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state by claiming it was, and is, necessary to “protect civilians”, specifically “to stop the massacres perpetrated by the Syrian government against unarmed protesters”.   

The hard reality of a year and half of unabated killings, by both sides to the conflict, does not support this simplistic representation of the drama unfolding in Syria. 

Unfortunately, this simplistic representation seems to have served as the framework for the investigation into the Syrian conflict conducted by the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Syria.  See:  http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/PRCoISyria15082012_en.pdf   

My full analysis in Italian is here (bottom of the doc): http://www.sibialiria.org/wordpress/?p=777

The CoI report is due to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council on September 17th, in Geneva.

The Commission concludes that there are “reasonable grounds” to hold that Syrian government forces and Syrian paramilitary irregulars (“shabbiha”) have been mandated by the government to commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.  The Commission also says that opposition forces committed human rights violation, but minimizes their nature and seriousness and does not blame the opposition chiefs.

The NoWar Network – Italy and the Research Centre for the Truth against the Wars have studied the Commission's report.  We  find it full of contradictions and omissions.  Above all, we denounce the partiality of the sources and the formulation of accusations not supported by hard evidence.  Our findings appear (in Italian) on the web site www.sibialiria.org.    A summary of that analysis follows.

To begin with, the report lacks credibility because the investigators, by their own admission, did not have, or did not obtain, the relatively free access to the country that the U.N. Observer Mission had enjoyed before them.  (Completely free access is always impossible in war zones.)  This restriction,  in the words of the Commission itself, “significantly hindered the Commission's ability to fulfill its mandate.”  Randomly chosen and geographically widely-distributed “victims and eye witnesses could not be interviewed in person.”  In particular the “access to the victims of opposition violence was limited” and “access to the Syrian army and to members of the Syrian government was almost nonexistent.”  Civil or religious groups in Syria, such as the Sovvt (Syrian Observatory for victims of violence and terrorism) or Vox Clamantis (a Catholic media center), could have  furnished witnesses and victims of violence to be interrogated by the Commission even by phone, and also an alternative version of many events. Even the UN observers are rarely quoted by the report.

We note also that the CoI report quoted and refers to former reports by UN Commissions and Ngos which are equally one-sided concerning the witnesses and lack evidences.

Instead, as the report states, the Commission conducted its interviews – several hundred in all – among Syrian refugees now living in neighboring countries or, through Skype or cellphone connections from Geneva, among a restricted group of Syrians living inside the country.  Who were the people making up this latter group?  On the basis of an analysis of the geographical distribution of the calls and taking into consideration the previous reports by the same Commission, it seems highly likely that the Commission interviewed mostly those Syrians who belong to the opposition movement.  

Thus the Commission heard representatives of one side giving their version of those events – such as the massacre at Houla – for which, according to media reports, two versions (or more) seem to exist.  Indeed, as often occurs in cases of civil unrest, the violence in Syria is probably many sided and, in any case, disparate: numerous witnesses of atrocities, cited in reports coming out of Syria (but not in the Commission report), have in fact complained that it was not possible to identify the assailants; or that the symbols or uniforms worn did not seem genuine; or that the violence committed seemed to be absolutely indiscriminate.  In short, there is a vast gray area surrounding the perpetration of atrocities in Syria that belies the neat, black and white account presented by the Commission.

For instance, it is clear that, in a conflict like the one in Syria, that armed groups belonging to the opposition have invaded and taken over largely pro-government neighborhoods, thus making the inhabitants there virtual hostages; it is also conceivable that some of these inhabitants might have paid dearly for their lack of support of the opposition.  Nothing of this kind appears in the Commission's report.  Nor do the witnesses interviewed speak of the gruesome acts of intimidation by opposition forces that have surfaced in Western media.

As for the “regime crimes” it goes to great lengths to denounce, the Commission makes no distinction between actions committed by the Syrian army, for which the Commission rightly holds the government responsible, and bloodshed caused by armed pro-government civilians, lumped together under the label “shabbiha” (which the Commission itself considers a nebulous entity).  In any virulent civil conflict, civilians on both sides are wont to take up arms spontaneously and may kill accidentally or indiscriminately; they may even, at times, commit deliberate crimes.  Yet in the Commission's report we discover for the most part only those killings and crimes committed by the civilians on the government side.  What is more, because any armed pro-government civilian is (for the Commission) necessarily a “shabbiha”, the government is held responsible for any and all violent acts committed. 

Even more glaring is the total absence of any reference to a “third party” in the violence in Syria, for example the death squads that, according to leaked government documents, foreign powers have financed and sent into Syria.  The witnesses interviewed by the Commission seem to have seen practically nothing but the violence committed by government mandated forces.

And yet independent media have described, for example, a long list of terrorist bombings, which have partially destroyed key government buildings and killed dozens of civilians in and around them.  News media have managed to report from the scene of such events and to debunk the hypothesis that these crimes might have been perpetrated by the government itself in order to discredit the opposition, since too many vital government interests were touched.  The Commission, however, claiming that it “lacks sufficient access” to the scene of the bombings, has refused to attribute these war crimes to the opposition and, instead, lists them as unaccountable internal disorders.

The Commission is silent also on the several sabotages of public infrastructures occurred in 2011/12.

In conclusion, given the Commission's international mandate, the partiality and one-sidedness of the CoI report is both flabbergasting and disconcerting.  Has the U.N. no internal assessment mechanism to prevent such abuses in the “documentation” of events upon which the U.N. is then required to act?

 

 

 

Download:

DOCUMENTO. Le fonti parziali e le prove mancanti nel rapporto della “Commissione internazionale indipendente di inchiesta” (COI) nominata dall’Onu

Documento. Houla e l’Onu alla luce di Daraya

 

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Margarita ha detto:

Que tal,
No est

Lyle Courtsal ha detto:

UN voted for Iraqi intervention because US under Bush either bought votes with aid or threatened interventions and/or aid cutoffs in order to pull Iraqi coalition together. This composes the voting bloc that voted for Houla resolution. UN historically has been a puppet of US interests; Louise Arbour completely covered up the fact that the US had enabled the Rwandan civil war/slaughters in several ways: 

1) By supplying machetes to one side via an agricultural grant. 

2) By imposing an IMF/World bank structural adjustment program on Rwandan economy a year and a half before the massacre, cutting off a lot of food and water supplies and escalating social tensions overall. 

3) By escalating tensions between the two major parties prior to the murder of the president by special ops troops supplied with US missiles diverted from the mideast. Paul Kagame took advantage of the situation in cooperation with US funded ugandan forces; who want to pick the resource plum in northeast congo. This area is still a conflict area today. http://www.enoughproject.org

The Rwanda '94 situation is covered in covert action quarterly/informatin bulletin. Lyle Courtsal 

Bahyia ha detto:

It is known now that Dany the British activist whose origin  is Syrian  faked the facts.  In the video here below we can see and hear him asking his fellow workers to make noise with weapons just to dramatize his "scoop"  in  live broadcast on CNN with anderson Cooper. NO COMMENT !!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=w1iFHqa_Bdl

SHAME ON HIM.

 

 

Iyad Khuder ha detto:

Thanks Miss Marinella, Jesus bless you.

I would like to add this:
I'd like to share you my answer to a journalist that believed the recent report of the so-called "Independent"  INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY (COI) formed by UN about some massacres in Syria, believed it is a definite proof that Syrian "regime" is a war criminal…

Dear XXX,

I had an overview on the report. I feel really a lot of pain of the  big amount of disinformation… it is very well done to a degree that it is really convincing for any one who doesn't know the country in depth or didn't spent more than a couple of weeks there…

You said:
"Also, they interviewed hundreds of witnesses (1.062 to be exact): they are all terrorist,salafis, revolutionaries?"
Well, they are not necessarily terrorists or Salafi, but they are all liars!!!
They based on interviews either from the "Refugee camps" or via skype, obviously with selected people:
Refugee camps:
Who goes to those camps?
Given that Syria hosted 2 millions of Iraqi people in the few years after 2003, the third of Lebanese population during the Israeli war on Lebanon 2006, and has hosted 1.5 million of Palestinians since 1948… other than the other ethnic groups (Armenians, Sharkas, Turkman…) who escaped from the Ottomans… and that Syria didn't even set one tent for those refugees, but hosted them in popular houses and/or among Syrians… Syria treats Palestinians exactly as Syrians in civil rights, many of them are officials in government while in Lebanon a Palestinian doctor or engineer can only work under supervision of a Lebanese one…

So is it likely that such government kills its people like that? And furthermore, according to the media and the report that Syrian government (or what it calls Shabbiha who are pushed by it) kills people only because they are opposition!!! This is absurd! Yes it is for 2 reasons:

1) Because Syrian government (President, government, army) are MORAL AND NOT CRIMINAL

2) Simply Because there is NO BENEFIT for the "regime" in killing civilians! This will only increase the pressure of the international community against it and isolates it (obviously this is exactly the benefit of the military opposition)

Then what about the "indication" that EVERY meeting at Security Council is preceded by a massacre the night before?!!!

You should have heard the several reports about importing Islamist fighters to Syria.
I ask you the question:

Which part is likely to commit massacres?

Is it the Syrian state that is interested in bringing security back and that is based on regular army that consists of Syrian youth doing their military service, many of them are university graduated , belonging to ALL components of Syria, all cities, all sects? and that consists of engineers, doctors and academics?

Or the part that consists of FREE army, actually FREE gangs. BTW, there's NOTHING organized called FSA. FSA in fact is the name of  non centralized groups of fighters consisting of extremist Jihadist Salafi people and ex-criminals and drug addicted people?!!!

Let me tell you something:
I am one of those who did the military service at Syrian army, and Syrian soldiers that are defending Syria against those gangs are people like me. So if you think they are committing massacres, slaughter people, bulldoze houses of civilians… this means that people like me are doing that, while those foreign extremist mercenaries are the innocent victims.

I don't know if you are aware of the Slovakian scenario (Serbia and Kosovo)? It is very similar to what's going on in Syria in lies and NATO role, but I believe what's going on in Syria is more tense because it is based on Islamist hatred against Shiia and Alawi people and because it is not in Europe… and because the Israeli benefit in destroying Syria.

Why? Either against money or (The most of the cases) because they are fanatic extremist or sectarian, such a culture that is not a genuine Syrian culture, but it is infiltrated from the Arabic Gulf and Syrians who absorbed their culture. For extremists and sectarian people, their religious fanatism is the main motivation for them to be opposition. They would accept a leader of Muslim Brotherhood (or an extremist in general like them) and shout for his life even if he collect the demonstrators against him by bildozer and burn them with benzin. They beg Nato and even Israel to make a military intervention in their country to topple the regime and give them the power even if they destroy the country. Dany, the reporter of CNN is one example. Although Dany is so far away from being committed to religion, but he is sectarian. May be if he worked for an Islamic TV you would see him bearded! But he adpted to work for CNN, so he shows the modernized face. This is the case with most of Islamist people when it comes to politics. Look at Mursi, he looks so modern with Miss Clinton! Going back to Dany, the CNN's reporter, he said in an interview on CNN that they don't mind if Israel intervene militarily in Syria to topple the regime. They know very well how much Israel cares about Syrian people. Dani is just a very "nice" example relatively to others. So it is not about people, not about civilians, not about human right… nor about democracy.

Iyad