|Image: The closest Amnesty International got to the prison they wrote a 48 page report on is illustrated by this photo taken from outer space.|
As such, reports like its most recent titled, “Syria: Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria,” begs belief. The report begs belief not just because of the systematic campaign of disinformation and war propaganda Amnesty International has been engaged in against Syria specifically, or the many fallacious reports it has published targeting Washington, London, and Brussels' political enemies elsewhere, but particularly because of the report's own admitted methodology.
The report itself states clearly (emphasis added):
The research for this report took place between December 2015 and December 2016. Amnesty International interviewed 31 men who were detained at Saydnaya (also spelt Sednaya) between 2011 and 2015.
The report also admits (emphasis added):
Amnesty International also interviewed four prison officials or guards who previously worked at Saydnaya; three former judges, one of whom served in the Military Court in the al-Mezzeh neighbourhood of Damascus; three doctors who worked at Tishreen Military Hospital; four Syrian lawyers; 17 international and national experts on detention in Syria, such as investigators, analysts and monitors; and 22 family members of people who were or still are believed to be detained at Saydnaya. The majority of these interviews took place in person in southern Turkey. The remaining interviews were conducted by telephone or through other remote means with interviewees still in Syria, or with individuals based in Lebanon, Jordan, European countries and the USA.
In essence, Amnesty International admits to having no actual, physical evidence. It also is admitting it never stepped foot on Syrian soil, let alone anywhere around or in the prison their 48 page report covers. The report itself admits:
Despite repeated requests by Amnesty International for access to Syria, and specifically for access to detention facilities operated by the Syrian authorities, Amnesty International has been barred by the Syrian authorities from carrying out research in the country and consequently has not had access to areas controlled by the Syrian government since the crisis began in 2011. Other independent human rights monitoring groups have faced similar obstacles.
So distant was Amnesty International from actually obtaining physical evidence, their only images of the prison itself included in their report are satellite photographs taken from outer space. The only other photographs included are of three alleged prisoners, before and after their alleged detention, attempting to illustrate not torture, but weight loss.
Admittedly, Amnesty International interviewed members and organizations of the Syrian opposition, including those operating out of southern Turkey where much of the war was organized and launched against Syria from.
We therefore conclude that the Syrian authorities’ violations at Saydnaya amount to crimes against humanity. Amnesty International urgently calls for an independent and impartial investigation into crimes committed at Saydnaya.
Yet guilt cannot be established or assigned based solely on the witness accounts of individuals and organizations, let alone those that have a history of deceit and fabrications, and with clear motivations to deceive and fabricate accusations again regarding this latest report.
Without actual, physical evidence, Amnesty International's report is merely another in a large pile of unverified accusations, or now verified fabrications, produced by both it and the many other organizations pursing a politically motivated agenda merely under the guise of advocating human rights.
A Matter of Timing
Reuters in its February 5, 2017 article, “Russia's Lavrov backs renewal of U.N.-led Syria talks,” would report:
Russia said on Sunday that it supports the continuation of Syria peace talks under United Nations auspices, long-running negotiations which had been thrown into doubt by separate, Moscow-backed peace talks launched last month.
The latest round of U.N. talks had been planned to begin in Geneva on Feb. 8 but Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that they had been postponed.
Thus, the familiar pattern of US and European interests, through the use of their “human rights advocates,” continues with this latest, unsubstantiated report, attempting to place political pressure upon Syria and its allies to grant itself additional leverage at the negotiating table.
That Amnesty International has attempted to use its own carefully constructed reputation in an “appeal to authority,” further reflects on the organization's true motives, methods, and mission.
|Image: The liberation of Aleppo in late 2016, just as Amnesty International was wrapping up its interviews.|
Another crucial matter of timing includes the frame in which Amnesty International's interviews were conducted, between December 2015 and December 2016. It was within this year that the tide of Syria's long conflict finally, unquestionably turned in favor of Damascus and its allies. It was December 2016 when finally Syria's northern city of Aleppo was fully freed from occupying militants.
It was also in late 2016 when the organizations Amnesty International collaborated with for this latest report, were caught fabricating the number of civilians trapped in eastern Aleppo before the Syrian military and foreign media moved into previously militant occupied districts to verify their claims as false.
The purpose of these fabrications was to give militants and their foreign sponsors leverage ahead of negotiations meant to prolong both their occupation of the city and the wider regional war. There is no reason to believe this latest apparent fabrication serves any other purpose.