Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Any Country That Restores Relations with the Syrian Regime, Which Is Involved in Committing Crimes against Humanity against the Syrian People, Is Thereby Considered a Participant in These Crimes
Paris – the Syrian Network for Human Rights condemned in a report released today Algeria’s attempts to perpetuate the Syrian regime’s impunity and voting nine times in the Regime’s favor in the Human Rights Council. SNHR added that Algeria and the United Arab Emirates and any country that restores relations with the Syrian Regime, which is involved in committing crimes against humanity against the Syrian people, is thereby considered a participant in these crimes.
The 18-page report discussed Algeria’s preparations for the upcoming thirty-first Arab League Summit, set for November 2022. Algeria launched a public relations campaign with Algerian officials visiting a number of Arab countries in an effort to persuade them to vote in favor of the Syrian regime’s return to the League of Arab States with complete disregard for the horrific violation that amounts to crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Syrian people. The report condemns the Algerian regime’s role in supporting the Syrian regime, following in the footsteps of regimes affiliated with Iran’s regime, such as Iraq and Lebanon. Noting that the Algerian regime has aligned itself with the Syrian regime and therefore is complicit in and supportive of the heinous violations which the Syrian regime has committed against the Syrian people.
Fadel Abdul Ghany, director of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, says:
“The Algerian regime’s support for and promotion of the Syrian regime is a great insult to the Syrian victims, numbering millions, who were killed and displaced by the Syrian regime itself. It is also an affront to the struggles of the Algerian people for freedom and dignity, placing Algeria in the camp of repressive, mutually supportive authoritarian states. The Syrian regime’s return to the Arab League must be linked to the release of tens of thousands of prisoners of conscience, holding the perpetrators of violations accountable, and respect for human rights.”
The report added that the Syrian regime insulted the Arab League and violated all its initiatives calling for a solution to the Syrian conflict. The Syrian regime never committed to these initiatives and is still perpetrating heinous violations against the Syrian people, with no change to its brutal methods. Also, the Syrian regime confronted peaceful protesters participating in the popular uprising that broke out in March 2011 with live bullets and a campaign of arbitrary arrests, with the range and intensity of the violations practiced by the regime rapidly expanding, and some of these amounting to crimes against humanity since the first months of the movement.
The report included a brief presentation of the Arab League’s initiatives, the first of which was four months after the start of the popular movement, and added that the first serious action taken by the Arab League was at the start of September 2011, adding that it came after the Syrian regime had killed 8637 civilians from March 2011 until September 2011 (the date of the first initiative) and arrested/ disappeared 17,546 others.
According to the report, on November 12, 2011, the Arab League adopted a resolution to suspend Syrian delegations’ participation in the meetings of the League and called on Arab countries to withdraw their ambassadors from Syria and impose political and economic sanctions on the Syrian government. The resolution at the time was adopted with the approval of 18 countries, including Algeria, while three countries, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, objected, and Iraq abstained from voting.
The report noted that the Arab League decided to send an Observer Mission, and in December 2011 delegated Mr. Mohammed al Dabi as head of the League of Arab States’ Observer Mission to Syria, to find a solution to the Syrian crisis and provide protection for Syrian citizens. The report stressed that the Mission was unable to stop or prevent any of the Syrian regime’s violations, adding that from March 2011 to February 12, 2012 (the date of al Dabi resignation), SNHR documented that the Syrian regime killed 13,923 civilians, and arrested/disappeared 23,526 others.
The report said that Algeria voted nine times in favor of the Syrian regime at the UN Human Rights Council’s sessions, which included all the periods Algeria was present in the Council, including the times the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons of mass destruction. The report added that all the countries that voted in favor of the Syrian regime at the HRC are repressive, tyrannical states hostile to human rights, such as Russia, China, Venezuela, and Cuba, noting that having voted in favor of the Syrian regime, Algeria effectively encouraged the regime to commit more violations by promising to secure support for it at the Human Rights Council. The report noted that it regrets that Algeria is among these countries.
The report also included a brief summary of the Human Rights Council resolutions related to the human rights situation in Syria since the beginning of the popular uprising to date, against which the Algerian regime voted.
The report stated that the United Arab Emirates is the first country after Russian and Iran to invite Bashar al Assad, who is involved in crimes against humanity, to visit, pointing to the latter’s visit to the UAE on March 18, 2022. In this context the report reminded the government of the United Arab Emirates that the Syrian regime continues to practice atrocious violations, some of which amount to crimes against humanity, such as torture, enforced disappearance of more than 130,000 Syrian citizens, forced displacement and others. The Syrian regime system has also been convicted in the Koblenz court in Germany, for committing crimes against humanity. In addition, the Syrian regime has not been held accountable for 11 years of multiple violations against the Syrian people and state, and the regime itself has not held any of its individual members or officials to account. This means that we are facing a state of complete impunity, and that restoring relations with such a brutal regime harms the United Arab Emirates first, and is considered under international law to demonstrate support for the violations practiced by the Syrian regime against the Syrian people, because the fight against atrocious violations that constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes is considered one of the main tasks of all countries of the world as ratification of the Geneva Conventions.
The report declared that the vote of Algeria’s regime at the Human Rights Council in favor of the Syrian regime, which is involved, according to dozens of UN, international, and local reports, in committing atrocious violations amounting to crimes against humanity, is considered to be as support and encouragement for the Syrian regime to commit more violations, as it is considered to be a form of participation in these violations under the rules of international law.
The report also concluded that the reasons that led to the expulsion of the Syrian regime from the Arab League, the imposition of international isolation on it, the boycott by the world’s democratic states, and the imposition of international isolation on it have continued since 2011 to date, accumulating over nearly 11 years, which increased their extent and the number of victims.
The report added that the attempt by Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, or any such attempt by any other country to promote or restore any form of relations with the Syrian regime is considered to be an offer of encouragement to the perpetrators of crimes against humanity enabling them to enjoy complete impunity, and it also represents a flagrant insult to millions of victims among the Syrian people.
Adding that Algeria chose to prioritize its own interests with Russia at the expense of the principles of international human rights law and to comply with what Russia requested of it, in the same way as repressive authoritarian states such as Venezuela and Cuba.
The report called on the League of Arab States to continue to expel the Syrian regime from the Arab League and separate between the state and the Syrian people on the one hand and the ruling regime on the other; the rights of the victims must take precedence over political interests.
And to link any relations with the Syrian regime to the extent of its implementation of the Arab League’s initiatives and demonstration of respect for human rights, in particular the release of tens of thousands of political detainees, the return of their looted property, the repeal of security laws, and the accountability of perpetrators of violations.
As well as, work to accelerate the political solution in Syria in order to return the Syrian state to its seat at the Arab League, instead of working to restore the current regime, which is involved in crimes against humanity and war crimes, including the use of weapons of mass destruction.
The report called on the government of the United Arab Emirates to return to the position of supporting the rights of the Syrian people to freedom and dignity.
In addition to other recommendations…