Amnesty International: ‘We campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all’
Syrians might disagree.
This is where the International Propaganda War began in earnest:
The Deadly Detention Announcement, August 2011
There are certain institutions which we have all come to trust through decades of watching their involvement in certain situations and learning of their ability to act and report with no political bias.
Amnesty International is one such institution from my perspective. That was until recently.
The Syrian Crisis began in March 2011 when an uprising in Dara’a turned from being a protest into a gun battle. Dara’a, where the Syrian Crisis Began
The Amnesty International Report of ‘Deadly Detention’ emerged in August 2011.
Human Rights had been under serious scrutiny for at least a decade in Syria. The cities were vibrant societies but the rural areas were suffering from the poor management arising from the effects of drought and unequal access to social programmes. Furthermore, there were groups pressing for an end to the secular nature of the country.
On May 28th 2011, Amnesty International released its Human Rights Report for Syria 2010, along with its reports for the rest of the world. It contains details of arrests and imprisonment for anti-government behaviour; it does not, however, mention anything about Crimes Against Humanity. Amnesty International Syria Report 2011
Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International. Source: topnews.in
The distinction is important because Crimes against Humanity can lead to intervention.
Here Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, describes the methodology of ascertaining a situation:
‘we do it in a very systematic, primary, way where we collect evidence with our own staff on the ground. And every aspect of our data collection is based on corroboration and cross-checking from all parties, even if there are, you know, many parties in any situation because of all of the issues we deal with are quite contested. So it’s very important to get different points of view and constantly cross check and verify the facts.
The ‘Deadly Detention’ Report effectively announced that Amnesty International had moved to ‘real time’ probity into the Syrian situation. The Report was delivered to the UN, calling for direct military intervention, the freezing of the assets of President Assad and the referral of the matter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
The United Nations is losing credibility
By virtue of the standing of Amnesty International, Syria and Assad were condemned.
The validity of accusations worsened in 2012.
Amnesty International first alleged war crimes in Syria, against the government of President Bashar Al-Assad, in June 2012. The report has no details of its methodology in coming to such conclusions but does detail the involvement of Donatella Rovera who ‘spent several weeks investigating human rights violations in northern Syria.’
Donatella Rovera. Source: PHAP
Donatella Rovera’s Biography details her background:
Donatella Rovera has been leading Amnesty International’s field investigations into violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by state and non-state actors in many situations of internal and international armed conflicts for the past 20 years (examples include: in the past year Syria, Somalia, Sudan-South Sudan; earlier examples include Libya, Israel-Occupied Palestinian Territories, Ivory Coast, Israel-Lebanon, Algeria), and produced research and advocacy reports and other material on these and other issues.
Rovera’s report mentions that Amnesty International ‘had not been able to conduct research on the ground in Syria’. She also questioned the validity of her own report in 2014. Donatella Rovera in PHAP April 2014
In her article in PHAP (Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection) article, Rovera spoke of problems with the investigation in Syria, citing examples of both material evidence and witness statements that had misled the investigation.
Amnesty International has never acknowledged or published these crucial aspects to the validity or otherwise of allegations of ‘War Crimes’.
Pressing hard against the allegations of systematic abuse of his people is the 2014 Presidential Election in Syria.
Assad was returned to power by enormous proportions. He won almost 90% of the votes on a turn out of over 70%. Western media did not suggest any irregularities. Reports simply invalidated the result. There were areas of Syria which were unable to vote due to conflict situations. Had all those unable to vote decided to vote against Assad he would still have won by a huge majority.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry who seems to have been selective with intelligence.
Six years later, the people of Syria are still having their lives torn apart.
I would like to stress that in no way does either this post, or I, suggest that Amnesty International is an institution of deceit with an appetite for conflict. It would seem, however, that other institutions such as the UN and national governments have been too hasty to accept reports of malfeasance without proper checks and balances owing to the assurances of good governance by Amnesty International.
All Rights Reserved. ©Edward Bryans. No unauthorised reproduction of this post in whole or in part is permitted without the express written consent of the author