Amnesty International Publishes a Fabricated Report on Mass Executions in Syria

On Monday, February 8 (2016), 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

RELATED POSTS
Washington’s War Crimes in Syria
The United States government is guilty of war crimes. This is the stark conclusion reached by the independent international commission of inquiry established by the United Nations in 2011 to investigate human rights violations stemming from the protracted US-backed war for regime change in Syria. The Pentagon’s relentless bombing campaign in and around the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the so-called “capital” of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has inflicted a “staggering loss of civilian life,” while forcing over 160,000 civilians to flee their homes, Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the UN’s commission of inquiry, said on Wednesday. US warplanes ...
READ MORE
Why Is NATO In Yugoslavia?
Editor’s Note This paper was presented by the late Sean Gervasi at the Conference on the Enlargement of NATO in Eastern Europe and the Mediterrenean, Prague, 13-14 January 1996. It was published on Global Research when the Global Research website was launched on September 9, 2001. The late Sean Gervasi had tremendous foresight. He understood the process of NATO enlargement several years before it actually unfolded into a formidable military force.  He had also predicted the breakup of Yugoslavia as part of a US-NATO project. See also Sean Gervasi’s 1993 video interview Introduction The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has recently sent a large task force into ...
READ MORE
The Lie Of The 21st Century: How Mainstream Media “Fake News” Led To The U.S. Invasion Of Iraq
The mainstream media (MSM) has declared war on alternative media websites labeling them “Fake News” ever since Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump. The New York Times editorial board expressed their frustration in an article calling for the censorship of alternative and social media‘Facebook and the Digital Virus Called Fake News’ which claimed both social media platforms (Facebook and Google) has not been aggressive enough in blocking fake news sites: Most of the fake news stories are produced by scammers looking to make a quick buck. The vast majority of them take far-right positions. But a big part of the responsibility for this scourge ...
READ MORE
Countries Destroyed By Hillary Clinton
In an email sent to his business partner and Democratic fundraiser Jeffrey Leeds, former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote of Hillary Clinton, “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.” Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State during Barack Obama’s first term was an unmitigated disaster for many nations around the world. Neither the Donald Trump campaign nor the corporate media have adequately described how a number of countries around the world suffered horribly from Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy decisions. Millions of people were adversely harmed by Clinton’s misguided policies and her “play-to-pay” operations involving favors in return for donations ...
READ MORE
Impending Threat To Canadian Democracy: Harper Government’s “Anti-Terrorism Act” Isn’t About Terrorism, It’s A Torture Act
The Harper government’s Bill C-51, or Anti-Terrorism Act, has been in the public domain for over a month. Long enough for us to know that it subverts basic principles of constitutional law, assaults rights of free speech and free assembly, and is viciously anti-democratic. An unprecedented torrent of criticism has been directed against this bill as the government rushes it through Parliament. This has included stern or at least sceptical editorials in all the major newspapers; an open letter, signed by four former Prime Ministers and five former Supreme Court judges, denouncing the bill for exposing Canadians to major violations of ...
READ MORE
The Great Leap Backward: America’s Illegal Wars On The World
Can we face it in this election season? America is a weapons factory, the White House a war room, and the president the manager of the neoliberal conspiracy to recolonize the planet. It exports war and mass poverty. On the economic front, usurious neoliberalism; on the military front, illegal wars. These are the trenches of America’s battle for world domination in the 21st century. If not stopped, it will be a short century. Since 1945, America’s Manifest Destiny, posing as the Free World’s Crusade against the Red Menace, has claimed 20 to 30 million lives worldwide and bombed one-third of the earth’s ...
READ MORE
An American century of carnage: Measuring violence in a single superpower world
On February 17, 1941, almost 10 months before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Life magazine carried a lengthy essay by its publisher, Henry Luce, entitled “The American Century.” The son of Presbyterian missionaries, born in China in 1898 and raised there until the age of 15, Luce essentially transposed the certainty of religious dogma into the certainty of a nationalistic mission couched in the name of internationalism. Luce acknowledged that the United States could not police the whole world or attempt to impose democratic institutions on all of mankind. Nonetheless, “the world of the 20th Century,” he wrote, “if it is ...
READ MORE
Obama Failed His Coup In Venezuela
The United States, Germany, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom launched "Operation Jericho" Once again, the Obama administration has tried to force the change of a political regime that resists it. On February 12, an Academi (formerly Blackwater) plane disguised as an aircraft of the Venezuelan army was supposed to bomb the presidential palace and kill President Nicolas Maduro. The plotters had planned to place former MP María Corina Machado in power and have her immediately acclaimed by former Latin American presidents. President Obama with his advisor for Latin America, Ricardo Zuñiga, and the National Security Advisor Susan Rice. ...
READ MORE
The U.S. friendly dictators
Many of the world’s most repressive dictators have been friends of America. Tyrants, torturers, killers, and sundry dictators and corrupt puppet-presidents have been aided, supported, and rewarded handsomely for their loyalty to US interests. Traditional dictators seize control through force, while constitutional dictators hold office through voting fraud or severely restricted elections, and are frequently puppets and apologists for the military juntas which control the ballot boxes. In any case, none have been democratically elected by the majority of their people in fair and open elections. They are democratic America’s undemocratic allies. They may rise to power through bloody ClA-backed coups ...
READ MORE
Putin Is Defeating More Than ISIS In Syria
Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, a little more than a year ago, in July 2014 were the focus of attention in Europe and North America, accused, without a shred of forensic evidence, of shooting down an unarmed civilian Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine. The Russians were deemed out to restore the Soviet Union with their agreement to the popular referendum of Crimean citizens to annex into the Russian Federation and not Ukraine. Western sanctions were being thrown at Russia by both Washington and the EU. People spoke of a new Cold War. Today the picture is changing, and profoundly. ...
READ MORE
World Conquest: The United States’ Global Military Crusade (1945- )
GR Editor’s Note The following article by professor Eric Waddell was first published twelve years ago by Global Research in December 2003 in the immediate wake of the invasion and occupation of  Iraq by US and British forces, with a postscript added in 2007.  The article provides an incisive historical perspective on America’s “long war” against humanity, which is being carried out under a fake humanitarian mandate. Let us be under no illusions as to the intent of the US and its allies. We are dealing with World Conquest under the disguise of a “Global War on Terrorism”.  Michel Chossudovsky, December 24, ...
READ MORE
U.S. Bombs dropped in 2016
How incredible is this... The United States is technically not at war with any country right now but dropped more than 26,000 bombs in just 2016 and this under a "anti-war" President. We have an entire generation of Americans who have lived only under a system of "perpetual war". The time is long overdue to redefine these issues. Map of the US bombed states in 2016 with the number of dropped bombs By Ben Swann 2017-01-06 Source: Ben Swann FB Join the debate on our Twitter Timeline!
READ MORE
Interview With Historian Stephen Cohen On Ukraine
Interview with historian Stephen Cohen, by Patrick L. Smith, published in Salon.com, April 17, 2015 Introduction by Patrick L. Smith: It is one thing to comment in a column as the Ukrainian crisis grinds on and Washington—senselessly, with no idea of what will come next—destroys relations with Moscow. It is quite another, as a long exchange with Stephen F. Cohen makes clear, to watch as an honorable career’s worth of scholarly truths are set aside in favor of unlawful subterfuge, a war fever not much short of Hearst’s and what Cohen ranks among the most extravagant expansion of a sphere of ...
READ MORE
Death And Destruction In Iraq, Extensive US War Crimes: Apocalypse In Mosul In The Guise Of Bombing ISIS
 “The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” (Albert Camus 1913-1960.) On 1st May 2003, George W. Bush stood in a dinky little flying suit on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and in a super stage managed appearance told the lie of the century: “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.” (1) The illegal occupation and decimation of Iraq continued until December 2011. In June 2014 they returned to bomb again ...
READ MORE
The Syrian Crisis Is Part Of A War Waged On Russia By The West
It seems clear now that the West wants to defeat Russia in Syria at all costs. This latest protracted confrontation in the Middle East can be understood as a proxy war of the US and NATO against Putin’s resurgent Russia. But Syria is just one zone of engagement in a much wider war against Russia that has been taking place since Putin started to stand up to the West. The same confrontation also occurs in Ukraine and formerly in Georgia, where Russia successfully halted, albeit temporarily, the Western advance. This amounts to a new Cold War or an undeclared war ...
READ MORE
Electronic Voting Fraud: A Real Threat To Any Democrat Running For President
  A single strategic IT manipulator virtually anywhere could swing the 2016 election with just a few keystrokes perpetrated in less than a minute. (Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout)The support of readers like you got this story published - and helps Truthout stay free from corporate advertising. Can you sustain our work with a tax-deductible donation today? The way our electoral process now stands, electronic voting machines guarantee a Republican victory in 2016. No matter what she does, Hillary Clinton - or any other Democratic nominee - cannot be elected without a fundamental change in the basic mechanics of how our votes are ...
READ MORE
America’s Hegemonic Ambitions: The US “International Dictatorship”, Its Friends, Its Enemies
In a speech delivered in the southern suburbs of Beirut on October 23, 2015, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, a resistance organization rooted in Lebanon’s Shia community, presented a description of US imperialism that largely comports with that of secular leftwing anti-imperialists in the West. Hezbollah was established in the early 1980s to end Israel’s occupation of Lebanon. With Israel’s withdrawal in 2000, and a subsequent Israeli incursion in 2006 repulsed by Hezbollah fighters, the resistance organization remains on the qui vive against future Israeli aggressions. It is now assisting the Syrian Arab Army in its death struggle against ...
READ MORE
U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy To 138 Nations, 70% Of The World’s Countries
They could be found on the outskirts of Sirte, Libya, supporting local militia fighters, and in Mukalla, Yemen, backing troops from the United Arab Emirates.  At Saakow, a remote outpost in southern Somalia, they assisted local commandos in killing several members of the terror group al-Shabab.  Around the cities of Jarabulus and Al-Rai in northern Syria, they partnered with both Turkish soldiers and Syrian militias, while also embedding with Kurdish YPG fighters and the Syrian Democratic Forces.  Across the border in Iraq, still others joined the fight to liberate the city of Mosul.  And in Afghanistan, they assisted indigenous forces in various missions, just as they have ...
READ MORE
The Trump Administration: “Ship of Fools”
The reaction to the Syrian gassing incident shows that the U.S. ship-of-state is being piloted by fools. Fool-in-Chief is President Donald Trump, who has duly followed the Neocon script by leaping to the conclusion that President al-Assad’s Syrian government is responsible when in fact there is no evidence of an intentional attack. Even if Syrian planes hit a munitions warehouse, the gas had been stored there by anti-government rebels /terrorists. It would be impossible and contrary to common sense that the Syrian government could have done this on purpose, if they did it at all. Fool-at-the-Podium is Sean Spicer, helplessly trying to ...
READ MORE
12 Signs America Is On The Decline
When it comes to a few key indicators, Ireland, the UK, Canada and even Albania and Greece are surpassing America. America is declining, in large and important measures, yet policymakers aren’t paying attention. So argues a new academic paper, pulling together previously published data. Consider this: America’s child poverty levels are worse than in any developed country anywhere, including Greece, devastated by a euro crisis, and eastern European nations such as Poland, Lithuania and Estonia. Median adult wealth in the US ($39,000) is 27th globally, putting it behind Cyprus, Taiwan, and Ireland. Even when “life satisfaction” is measured, America ranks #12, behind ...
READ MORE
Washington’s War Crimes in Syria
Why Is NATO In Yugoslavia?
The Lie Of The 21st Century: How Mainstream Media “Fake News” Led To The U.S. Invasion Of Iraq
Countries Destroyed By Hillary Clinton
Impending Threat To Canadian Democracy: Harper Government’s “Anti-Terrorism Act” Isn’t About Terrorism, It’s A Torture Act
The Great Leap Backward: America’s Illegal Wars On The World
An American century of carnage: Measuring violence in a single superpower world
Obama Failed His Coup In Venezuela
The U.S. friendly dictators
Putin Is Defeating More Than ISIS In Syria
World Conquest: The United States’ Global Military Crusade (1945- )
U.S. Bombs dropped in 2016
Interview With Historian Stephen Cohen On Ukraine
Death And Destruction In Iraq, Extensive US War Crimes: Apocalypse In Mosul In The Guise Of Bombing ISIS
The Syrian Crisis Is Part Of A War Waged On Russia By The West
Electronic Voting Fraud: A Real Threat To Any Democrat Running For President
America’s Hegemonic Ambitions: The US “International Dictatorship”, Its Friends, Its Enemies
U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy To 138 Nations, 70% Of The World’s Countries
The Trump Administration: “Ship of Fools”
12 Signs America Is On The Decline