Donnerstag, 31. Dezember 2020

Interview with Wolfgang Kaleck of ECCHR

 A quite interesting interview with lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck of the  European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin:

Wolfgang Kaleck, a 60-year-old human rights lawyer with large blue eyes and a wave of sandy brown hair, smiles a lot for someone who has spent his life litigating some of the world’s worst atrocities. “The stories you hear you won’t forget,” he says, sitting at a long table in his office in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. “But at the same time you learn about these cruel facts of the world, you learn about the light side, which is that there’s resistance basically everywhere.” He should know: For the better part of three decades, he has pursued cases across borders on behalf of victims who have been disappeared by the military dictatorship in Argentina and spied upon by the East German Stasi. He has filed criminal complaints against former U.S. officials, including President George W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, CIA Director George Tenet, and current Director Gina Haspel. And now he’s taking on one of the biggest bad guys of them all: Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Donnerstag, 17. Dezember 2020

Did austrian authorities shield a syrian intelligence officer?

 An author on the "Amnesty International UK" page claims, undergirded by numerous links to other publications, that austrian intelligence covered a syrian torturer and high-ranking intelligence operative:

"As a Syrian human rights defender, you get used to disappointment - but what I read one cold morning last November was on another level of dismay. I came across a remarkable investigation by the Austrian newspaper Kurier which said the Austrian government, aided by Israel’s Mossad, had hid a Syrian Lieutenant General wanted for investigation by the French authorities for crimes against humanity and war crimes. 

Under “Operation White Milk'', a joint Austrian-Israeli operation, Khaled Halabi was hidden in Austria and given a new identity and name (Alexander). Halabi was the head of the Syrian General Intelligence Branch 335. The General Intelligence Directorate is one of the four main pillars of the Syrian Regime's repression architecture that has tortured, disappeared, and killed more than a million Syrians since March 2011, including women and children. It is the same directorate that Colonel Anwar Raslan works for. Raslan is currently on trial in Koblenz, Germany, charged with the torture of 4000 people as well as murder and sexual abuse. However, Halabi was a higher rank than Raslan and would have had extensive knowledge of and involvement in the Assad regimes torture network.

The trial in Koblenz has given many of us Syrians some level of hope and optimism - but it now seems that the Austrian authorities are actively trying to counter those international efforts and undermining the global fight against impunity and mass atrocities with its strange and troubling protection of Khaled Halabi."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Dienstag, 1. Dezember 2020

Germany: prosecutors hunt perpatrators of Ghouta gas attack

 "German prosecutors are currently collecting witness testimonies, documents and videos incriminating Syria in what are believed to be war crimes. The evidence against the Assad regime compiled by groups that have filed a criminal complaint in Germany is overwhelming", writes germany newpaper SPON:

"Salim Namour’s colleagues at the underground hospital in East Ghouta saw him as a rock of stability. The veteran doctor even called himself that: Sakhr, the rock. But on Aug. 21, 2013, Namour, too, reached his limits. "It was like Judgment Day," the doctor recalls.

Overnight, Volcano and M14 rockets rained down on rebel-held suburbs near Damascus, striking residential buildings. Impacts were also reported near mosques and at a primary school.

Namour recalls hearing over the radio that all doctors should head to the hospital immediately. Upon arrival, he saw the injured everywhere, many with no signs of any external wounds. People were struggling to breathe and were having seizures. Saliva oozed from their mouths. "The dying, the dead, it was horrible,” says Namour. Everything seemed to point to a poison gas attack.

Inside the cave, as the doctors called their underground hospital, they tore the clothes off the injured and rinsed them in water. They gave them shots of atropine as an antidote and administered oxygen. Namour and his colleagues fought to save lives until the next day at noon. But in many cases, they lost the battle.2

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: