BY: AP Photo / Luis M. Alvarez
Washington: September 30 – October 3, 2019: The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) held several meetings with high-level officials from several US government offices, including:
– The White House National Security Council
– Department of State, Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Robert Destro.
– Department of State, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy to Syria, Joel Rayburn.
– Department of Defense, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, Michael Mulroy.
– Department of State Roundtable: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (Office of Near Eastern Affairs, Office of Global Programming), Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (Office of Levant Affairs), Office of Global Criminal Justice.
– Department of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Office of United Nations Political Affairs.
– Department of State, Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Office of Global Programming.
During these meetings, Mr. Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, delivered a number of presentations discussing various issues selected according to the needs of each meeting. Among the most prominent issues of discussion and demands were the following topics:
The Syrian regime’s continued perpetration of a wide range of crimes against humanity, primarily torture in detention centers and the use of extremely sadistic methods of torture, as well as its continued arrests, especially the pursuit of displaced persons from the areas of Eastern Ghouta and southern Syria. Another subject was the increase in the exceptionally cruel and barbaric methods used by the Syrian regime in the form of laws aimed at seizing and taking control of the homes, properties and possessions of IDPs and refugees, as well as the Syrian regime’s targeting of churches and places of worship in Syria, some of which have been turned into military outposts. Other issues discussed included the violent Russian offensives on northwestern Syria and the Russian strategy of deliberately destroying cities and towns and using excessively brutal military tactics to inflict some form of collective punishment, along with the resulting waves of displacement and the need to provide protection zones for civilians safe from air attacks which are responsible for 75 percent of killings in Syria.