Monday, November 02, 2015

Take One: how Human Rights Watch justified the placement of Alawite civilians in cages as human shields

1) notice that the headline does not talk about human shields but provides justifications for the war crime: "Armed Groups Use Caged Hostages to Deter Attacks".
2) Another justification for the war crime: "even if the purpose is to stop indiscriminate government attacks,” said Nadim Houry".
3) Yet another justification of the practice: "Syrian government forces have repeatedly attacked residential areas and popular markets in Eastern Ghouta".  I defy you to find this: in all the many statements by Human Rights Watch about war crimes of the regime do they ever insert a sentence or a passage to the effect that Syrian rebels also target civilians?  The sentence here is merely inserted to justify the war crimes and to engender sympathy for the rebels.
4) The statement then cites a to provide a further justification: "The Shaam video includes interviews with local residents who justify the use of the cages by arguing that this may deter further attacks.".  Imagine if a story by HRW about barrel bombs over Ghuta, from which Syrian rebels shell Damascus indiscriminately includes a statement by a pro-government source in which he/she says that the bombs may "deter further attacks"?
5) they then issue a list of attacks by the government on civilians, of course always based on their pro-rebel sources.  Has HRW resorted to this methodology in all of its statements on war crimes by regime? Never.
6) They then provide this statement which has no pictorial evidence whatsoever except a claim on Facebook: imagine if the HRW accepts to rely on a Facebook page to document war crimes by the Syrian rebels: "On September 13, a Facebook page used to spread local news from Fu`a and Kefraya, two Shia towns in Idlib besieged by Jaysh al-Fateh, a coalition of opposition armed groups including Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, posted images of a cage that they claimed contained detained Jaysh al-Fateh combatants that had been placed on top of a building in the besieged communities by fighters defending the towns."  Notice that the HRW statement does not even bother to mention that the two towns of Fu`a and Kafrayyah are both held hostage by Syrian rebels for no reason except the sectarian affiliation of the residents.  

This is one of the few times in which Western human rights organizations have helped and abetted and justified war crimes by rebels--in the case of Syria.