Syrian ambassador’s excellent speech to the UN Security Council, April 7 — transcript (VIDEO)

UN Security Council meeting
April 7, 2017

Video from C-SPAN

https://www.c-span.org/video/?426668-1/un-security-council-holds-emergency-meeting-us-airstrikes-syria

1:45:50 – 1:57:26

Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar al Ja’Afari

At the outset, my delegation wishes to thank both the Russian Federation and Bolivia that joined us in calling for the convening of this urgent meeting.

I have a question at the very outset to the under-Secretary General who stated that Syrian Arab Republic perpetrated an act of aggression without defining that act by the terms of the Charter of the United Nations.

The United States at 3:42 at dawn today, April 7, 2017, waged a barbaric, flagrant act of aggression against a base of the Syrian Arab Air Force in the central area of the country using a number of missiles which led to a number of martyrs, many injured, including women and children, and wide-ranging material damage.

This treacherous act of aggression is a grave violation of the Charter of the United Nations as well as all international norms and laws.

The United States attempted to justify it with empty pretexts, fabricated arguments, claiming that the Syrian Arab Army had used the chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun, without genuine knowledge of what happened, without identifying who was responsible, the very same pretexts shouted out by terrorist organizations as well as their handlers in Washington and in ___Riyadh, ____Tex Aviv, London, and Paris, as well as their media.

The Syrian Arab Republic has stressed that the Syrian Arab Army does not have chemical weapons in the first place, and that it would never use such weapons in any of its operations against armed terrorist groups, that it condemns the use of such weapons as being unjustified under any conditions.

Let me stress that it is well-known that those weapons had been used and stockpiled in many parts of Syria by terrorist armed organizations in cooperation, or rather with a wink and a nudge, by some ruling regimes in the region and outside, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some European states.

They completely ignore all the facts and documented information on the use of chemical weapons by terrorists in many parts of the Syrian Arab Republic.

This aggression would surely send erroneous messages to these terrorist groups, emboldening them to use chemical weapons in the future and to continue perpetrating terrorist acts against the Syrian civilians. Jabhat al Nusra and ISIL, both terrorist organizations, and associated terrorist organizations, following this aggression, did wage many attacks on many parts of Syria. The Syrian Arab Army and its allies in the war against terrorism are confronting them, despite attempts to support them. The American aggression is under this umbrella.

This condemnable aggression is a grave extrapolation of the same erroneous American strategy that began six years ago: one of providing all forms of assistance to what the United States called moderate armed opposition groups. This strategy harms counterterrorism by the Syrian Arab Army and its partners. It makes the United States of America a partner of ISIL and Jabhat al Nusra and other terrorist groups that since day one of the unjust war against Syria have attacked army positions and military bases as well as the infrastructure.

Let me recall in this Council that the United States of America leads a purported alliance against ISIL. However, the real achievements of that coalition is to kill civilians and to strike at infrastructure in Syria. Its real objective is to weaken the Syrian Arab Army and its allies when confronting terrorist groups. In this regard, we see the air strike by the aircraft of this coalition illegally against the Syrian Arab Army in the Jabal Tharda in the city of Deir Ezzor on 17 September 2016 in an attempt to protect ISIL elements falling between Syrian and Iraqi territory and opening a corridor for them.

Today’s aggression aimed at saving the Jabhat al Nusra following the grave damage that was done to them by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in the center of the country following their attack on cities and peaceful villages in the region.

Let me also stress that media reports tell us that the U.S. Congress some time ago approved a law allowing the U.S. administration to send manpads to armed terrorist groups in Syria.

We have warned only two days ago in this very Council that these colonialists, permanent member states in the Security Council, the three colonialists have a renewed appetite to renew their lies and their stories that have been spread by the United States and the United Kingdom 14 years ago in this very hall to justify the destruction and occupation of Iraq using a major lie – being WMDs. Perhaps history has come full circle now in a regrettable scenario when we saw Secretary of State Colin Powell at the time trying to delude the international community and the United Nations to justify the aggression of his country against Iraq by talking about highly credible information.

Today the United States of America in its policy, in an attempt to justify its aggression against Syria, is using fabricated information provided by the Jabhat al Nusra terrorists.

This aggression incontrovertibly proves that Syria has been correct: that successive American administrations will not change their sterile policies, which is to target states to make peoples kneel to their will and spread hegemony around the world.

International public opinion, the people of the free world, have no doubt that the successive United States, UK, and French administrations for decades have not cared for democracy or freedom or human rights, indeed, let alone the welfare of people or their security and stability. These are just pretexts to wage war, to occupy other states, to divide them, to control their wealth and energy resources.

What is truly disgusting today is that these governments that supported the Wahhabi thinking, the terrorist extremist ideology of the House of Saud since its creation, is today orchestrating terrorism and investing in it without any care for the lives of people, even their own peoples when terrorism reaches their own threshold because of these wrong and hypocritical policies.

The Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemns the active aggression by the United States of America which is counter to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, indeed with the status of the United States as a permanent member of the Security Council which is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. Let alone that these aggressions really promise total chaos in many parts of the world and will make the law of the jungle the only way to deal with the regional and economic crises without any heed to the Charter of the United Nations.

When you kill millions of innocents starting in South Asia all the way through Latin America, what was your position? A member from France spoke on the issue and spoke about exceptions.

You should not be the exception.

You should be made accountable for the killings in July of 2017 [2016?] of hundreds by your war planes.

You in the international coalition must be held accountable for the killing of 800 civilians in Syria at the beginning of 2017.

You must be made accountable for your support of armed terrorist groups and their political cover there, too, as they continue their terrorist acts.

The government of the Syrian Arab Republic, proceeding from its belief that all efforts must be mobilized to counteract terrorism, as it respects the rules of international law, the Charter of the United Nations, calls on the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities according to the Charter to condemn this act of aggression and to ensure that it shall not be repeated.

It is an act that threatens peace and security in the region and the world.”

Top Secret – Beijing has become one of the greatest cities on Earth!

Global Research, February 28, 2017
Chinese_flag_(Beijing)_-_IMG_1104

Open your eyes and see for yourself. Unclog your ears and hear. Discard your preconceptions, of all those propaganda refrains that are accompanying the myriad of brainwashing tunes that are being spread by the Western indoctrination media.

For decades, smearing Beijing, while negating its greatness, has been one of the most effective weapons used by the US and Europe in their cultural anti-revolutionary war against all those great independent nations of the planet, especially China.

For those who want to taste the reality, the best advice would be: enter Beijing and let Beijing speak for itself, without an intermediary or ‘interpreter’. But could it be done? Aren’t biases already too deeply engrained in the psyche of most of the people worldwide, people that are bombarded by professional disinformation campaigns manufactured by the Empire and its mouthpieces?

“I used to cry almost every night, from hopelessness and pain,” I was once told by one of the greatest contemporary concert pianists, Yuan Sheng, who decided to return to his native Beijing many years ago. “When I lived in New York, when I read and heard all those lies about my country and my city, I felt so helpless. I couldn’t explain the truth, as nobody around me was willing to listen.”

Old rattles have been played day and night on the BBC, the CNN and many other official channels of the West: the tear-jerking stories depicting the plights of the migrant workers, or some gruesome portrayals of China’s human rights record (all based on extremely arrogant Western dogmas, thoroughly incompatible with Chinese and Asian culture), or the mainstream interpretation of the Tiananmen Square events, or the loud and hypocritical laments about the disappearance of some old neighborhoods, and not to speak of the loud salvoes fired against Beijing’s ‘disastrous’ air pollution and traffic jams.

When a tremendous effort by the government had been made to accommodate the migrant workers arriving from the poorer provinces to Beijing and to other major cities, and when, simultaneously, the standard of living began to rise dramatically all over the Chinese countryside, the topic got quietly shelved. Hardly any credit has been given to the country’s leadership.

When new evidence about the 1989 Tiananmen events began to surface, when it was proved, again and again, that the West actually infiltrated and supported the so called ‘student pro-democracy movement’; and when the facts about the extremely violent nature of many of those ‘students’ became simply undisputable, the Western media clenched its fists and never backpedaled, never bothered to present arguments ‘from the other side’. On the contrary, it turned up the volume of its monotonous propagandist cacophony. Until now, in the eyes of the general Western public, Tiananmen Square is synonymous with ‘oppression’ and not with the great revolutionary history and stunning monumental beauty.

 

Brian Becker wrote for LiberationNews.org :

The fictionalized version of the “massacre” was later corrected in some very small measure by Western reporters who had participated in the fabrications and who were keen to touch up the record so that they could say they made “corrections.” But by then it was too late and they knew that too. Public consciousness had been shaped. The false narrative became the dominant narrative. They had successfully massacred the facts to fit the political needs of the U.S. government.

“Most of the hundreds of foreign journalists that night, including me, were in other parts of the city… Those who tried to remain close filed dramatic accounts that, in some cases, buttressed the myth of a student massacre,” wrote Jay Mathews, the Washington Post’s first Bureau Chief in Beijing, in a 1998 article in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Mathews’ article, which includes his own admissions to using the terminology of the Tiananmen Square massacre, came nine years after the fact and he acknowledged that corrections later had little impact.

As for violations of human rights in China in general and Beijing in particular, only one (Western) view is commonly presented in the West. As Tom Zwart (professor of cross-cultural law and human rights at Utrecht University) wrote on January 21st, 2017 for China Daily:

Generally, Western states seem to be strongly attached to promoting their own position and using it as a benchmark to judge others… While Western states are uncompromising about their own stance on human rights, China is keen on achieving harmony and therefore attaches less value to human rights dogma.

That is certainly a nobler approach, but the loud shouting, simplifications and vulgar insults coming from the Western media, politicians and academia, are effectively indoctrinating billions worldwide.

But let’s return to Beijing.

The Demolition of several old hutons in the capital was never presented (by Western media) for what it really was: as part of the great effort to improve living conditions and sanitation of the poor people. Instead it was portrayed as some atrocious crime against the city’s history and culture. Never mind that all truly architecturally valuable old neighborhoods were painstakingly preserved and restored, as were actually almost all important structures of the capital. Never mind that when asked, most huton dwellers are actually grateful for being awarded with comfortable and modern flats.

What about pollution? I encountered people in all corners of the world, who swore that they would never set foot in Beijing, as the pollution levels there are hazardous, almost murderous. Most of these same people said that they’d have no objections to travel to much more polluted cities which are located in the ‘client’ states of the West and therefore managed to escape the toughest criticism: Jakarta, Manila, Phnom Penh and Bangkok, to give just a few examples.

There is hardly any mention, at least in the West, that for years and decades Beijing has been engaged in an epic fight against pollution and in support of the environment: the massive improvement of ecological public transportation (already 17 mostly modern metro lines are in service, countless trolley bus lines, encouragement of electric vehicles, wide sidewalks and introduction of shared bicycles, plus several revolutionary new forms of public transportation soon to be introduced). There are tough emission controls in place, and a ban on scooters. There is also the huge expansion of green areas around and inside the city, as well as the recently imposed ban on smoking (one of the toughest in the world).

 

It was recently reported by local Chinese media outlets (including China Daily) that:

The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region saw improvements in air quality in 2016… the average concentration of PM2.5, a hazardous pollutant, has decreased by 33 percent compared to the level of 2013…

Many other indicators have improved as well, although mentioning this fact on regular basis in the mainstream Western media would be ‘unacceptably pro-Chinese’.

*

In the last two decades, Beijing has become one of the world’s most exciting cities.

Its cultural life is second to none.

One of the curators of the National Center for Performing Arts (also known as “The Egg”, the largest opera house and performing center in the world) once explained to me:

When I used to live in London, I was dreaming about all those great world-class musicians and performers. Now I’m having meetings and dinners with them, all the time. It is because almost all great artists want to come to Beijing; to perform here.

One of the greatest (and free for all) museums on Earth, the China National Museum, is presently hosting two parallel world-class exhibitions: on the archeological treasures of Saudi Arabia, and the other on the collection from the Louvre Museum. In that institution, some of the greatest masterpieces of Salvador Dali rub shoulders with Chinese revolutionary art and anti-imperialist manifestos.

But now there are actually dozens of world-class museums and concert halls all over Beijing. In the iconic “798” (an old and massive weapons factory located on the outskirts of the city, which used to cover several square kilometers), literally hundreds of avant-garde art galleries are exhibiting everything from Western mainstream art including Andy Warhol or fashion images of Conde Nast, to the most ‘outrageous’ and politically daring ‘radical’ art, critical of the West, of capitalism, in China, and even of the government itself, is on display. It is mind-blowing! There is nothing like this anywhere in the West. Beijing artists are without any doubt much more innovative, daring and free than those in Paris, London or New York.

And on the other side of the city, around the ancient lakes and canals, dozens of clubs are hosting great bands from Africa and other parts of the world.

 

A prolific writer based in China, Jeff Brown contributed to this essay:

Beijing is one of the world’s greatest repositories of ancient history and modern humanities, showing off hundreds of world class museums, galleries, parks, temples, squares, shrines, monuments, mountains, lakes and rivers – all within a one-hour drive of the city center. You don’t need a car anyway. Beijing has the world’s largest metro system, 1,000 public bus routes and 66,000 licensed taxis to get you to all these myriad sites.

Since 1949, metropolitan Beijing has planted over a half a billion trees, shrubs and flowering bushes, as well as millions of square kilometers of green belts along the fringes of the nearby Gobi Desert, to stop its southern advance and to reduce dust levels blowing in from the north. By 2050, Beijing will have planted 100 billion trees to its north, covering more than ten percent of the country’s landmass

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2874368/Will-China-s-Great-GREEN-Wall-save-country-dust-storms-100-billion-tree-project-halt-advancing-Gobi-Desert.html.

This greenification program continues with a passion and love for nature. Beijing has identified and coddles, like rock stars, 40,000 urban trees that are over 100 years old, some dating back more than 1,000 years

http://www.fao.org/docrep/u9300e/u9300e04.htm

Contrary to ceaseless propaganda in the West, Beijing and all of China’s cities have shown nonstop improvement in air quality, and Beijing is spending billions to keep bettering its environment. This has been going on since the 1990s, something I can personally attest to

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-01/04/content_27853288.htm.

Tetovo, Cairo, Kathmandu, Accra, Manila, Delhi, Beirut, Ulaanbaatar, Baku, Dhaka and Sao Paulo, among others, all had higher 2016 pollution indexes than China’s capital, but only Beijing gets the mainstream media black eye

https://www.numbeo.com/pollution/rankings.jsp?title=2016.

Why? Because Beijing is the heart and soul of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and thus, is not a NATO doormat and puppet, an intolerable affront to Western capitalism.

Proud, forward-looking, full of hope and dreams, Beijing is marching forward.

The West which is clearly in permanent decay, is shooting its poisonous but powerless arrows tinted with nihilism and spite, towards the great capital of this enormous nation which, after a long and dark period of humiliation and suffering is finally reclaiming its rightful place in the world.*

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are revolutionary novel “Aurora” and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and  Fighting Against Western Imperialism. View his other books here. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo. After having lived in Latin America, Africa and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

UN committee’s bogus Syria “human rights” report ignores evidence. Co-author’s blatant conflict of interest

[Co-author] Karen AbuZayd is a director of the Washington based Middle East Policy Council, itself a strong supporter of the US-led dirty war on Syria. Other MEPC directors include present and former US military, intelligence, oil industry and other US corporate figures.
Global Research, March 03, 2017

A UN committee has produced another one-sided, bogus ‘human rights’ report on last year’s liberation of Aleppo, Syria’s second city. Co-authored by US diplomat Karen AbuZayd and Brazilian Paulo Pinheiro, the report attacks both the Syrian Army and the al Qaeda groups (UNGA 2017).

However its stronger condemnation of the Syrian Army is notable, as part of constant attempts to delegitimise the Syrian people’s struggle to liberate their own country from the NATO-backed terrorists. This report follows similar partisan attacks from ‘watchdog’ groups embedded with the US State Department, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty USA.

None of these groups have condemned the anti-ISIS operation in Mosul (Iraq) in the way they did the anti-al Qaeda operations in Aleppo (Syria).

The principal effect of the one-sided and bogus ‘human rights’ reports on Syria is to prolong the war and embolden foreign powers who, in open breach of international law, arm and finance all the al Qaeda groups in Syria and Iraq.

Although the latest AbuZayd-Pinheiro report is poorly referenced it follows much the same method as other US-backed ‘human rights’ denunciations: (i) speak to a number of anonymous al Qaeda ‘victims’ and their families, mainly in Turkey but some also by phone in the al Qaeda occupied parts of Syria, (ii) collate the latest claims from US-funded and jihadist-linked groups, (iii) make no visit to Syria nor communicate with Syrian organisations (e.g. there is no sign the committee tried to speak with the 4,000 member Aleppo Medical Association) and then (iv) present a thoroughly one-sided judgement.

The western media mounted furious propaganda resistance to the Syrian Army’s operation to take back Aleppo, claiming there were ‘indiscriminate’ airstrikes, and so on. Syria and Russia denied these accusations and the AbuZayd-Pinheiro report has backed them all.

Notable features of the report include: obviously false assertions about supposed ‘daily airstrikes’ on Aleppo city, the suggestion that al Qaeda makeshift clinics were the only ‘hospitals’ in Aleppo, and the baseless claim that Syrian-Russian airstrikes destroyed a humanitarian convoy.

The report claims that “Syrian and Russian air forces conducted daily air strikes in Aleppo throughout most of the period under review”, that is July-December 2016. On this basis the committee adopts the armed groups’ claims that eastern Aleppo was subject to constant ‘barrel bomb’ and chemical weapons attacks (UNGA 2017).

However, unlike the AbuZayd-Pinheiro report, much of the western media did report that air strikes on the city were halted in mid-October, as humanitarian corridors were established for the evacuation of civilians. When Russian air strikes resumed several weeks later, in mid-November (despite efforts by the New York Times on 16 November to fudge this detail), they were on al Qaeda and ISIS groups in rural Idlib and rural Aleppo; not on the city. The liberation of Aleppo between October and December was almost entirely through Syrian ground forces smashing resistance street by street. So the ‘daily airstrikes’ on Aleppo city, spoken of in the AbuZayd-Pinheiro report, is an obvious falsehood.

On hospitals, the report names several armed group makeshift clinics in eastern Aleppo, none of which were marked and registered hospitals. (Clinics lose their protection under international law when they become covert military support installations.) By contrast there is not one single mention of the large hospitals of western Aleppo (Dabbit, Ibn Rush and al Razi), which were bombed by the al Qaeda groups in 2016.

The attack on a UN humanitarian convoy on 20 September (just days after the 17 September US-led airstrike massacre of 80 Syrian soldiers fighting ISIS in Deir Ezzor) was blamed squarely on a Syrian or Russian airstrike, it seems on the basis of evidence from anonymous ‘witnesses’. There is no plausible motive for this. Syria and Russia were and remain the largest providers of services and humanitarian aid to all Aleppo communities.

The report fails to mention the fact that the armed groups in eastern Aleppo had emphatically rejected humanitarian aid, holding a demonstration just one week before the burning of those trucks. A UN spokesperson at the time claimed the armed groups were blocking the delivery of aid for “political gain” (Sanchez 2016). Further, the Russian military had observed that there were no craters on the road nor destruction of the trucks’ chassis, as would be the case with aerial bombing (RT 2016). The area had been occupied by al Qaeda groups who have a record of murder of civilian drivers and burning trucks; they did this two months later when civilian trucks traveled through Idlib to the besieged Shi’a villages of al Fouaa and Kefraya (Pasha-Robinson 2016). The AbuZayd-Pinheiro claims about Russian-Syrian airstrikes on this convoy and therefore baseless and contrary to the known evidence.

The AbuZayd-Pinheiro committee is the same one which, from Geneva, fabricated a report on the terrible Houla massacre of May 2012, in which over 100 villagers were killed by the NATO-backed Farouq Brigade (FSA). At least 15 independent witnesses identified Farouq brigade (FSA) leaders (Abdulrazzq Tlass and Yahya Yusuf) and local collaborators (Haitham al Housan, Saiid Fayes al Okesh, Haitham al Halq and Nidal Bakkur) for the massacre (see Anderson 2016: Ch. 8). The AbuZayd-Pinheiro committee, however, tried to blame un-named “shabiha” militia loyal to President Assad. No motive was given. Some of these villagers had participated in the recent National Assembly elections, over which the jihadists had demanded a boycott. The obvious partisan nature of the Houla report led Russia, China, India and others to withdraw their support from this and future UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.

Karen AbuZayd is a director of the Washington based Middle East Policy Council, itself a strong supporter of the US-led dirty war on Syria. Other MEPC directors include present and former US military, intelligence, oil industry and other US corporate figures. On simple conflict of interest principles she should never have been appointed to such a committee, as a diplomat from one of the warring parties. Former UN Secretary general Ban Ki Moon was responsible for this error. Washington, for its part, has been too absorbed in hubris to notice that it is unseemly to pretend to be both assailant and mediator.

UN special envoy Stefan di Mistura, despite being ‘appalled and shocked’ that the armed gangs were targeting and killing ‘scores’ of civilians in western Aleppo by ‘relentless and indiscriminate’ rocket attacks (BBC 30 October), nevertheless proposed an ‘autonomous zone’ in eastern Aleppo to protect the al Qaeda controlled areas. The proposal was emphatically rejected by the Syrian Government (Reuters 20 November), which went on to eject all the al Qaeda groups from Aleppo in late December 2016.

Purchase Tim Anderson’s book “The Dirty War on Syria” directly from Global Research Publishers

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Sources:

Anderson, Tim (2016) The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research, Montreal

Barnard, Anne and Ivan Nechepurenko (2016) ‘Airstrikes on Aleppo Resume as Russia Begins New Offensive in Syria’, New York Times, 16 November, online: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/world/middleeast/syria-aleppo-russia-airstrikes.html

BBC (2016) ‘Aleppo siege: UN envoy Mistura ‘appalled’ by rebel attacks’, 30 October, online: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37816938

Pestano, Andrew (2016) ‘Aleppo airstrikes resume after 3-week pause’, UPI, 15 November, online: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/11/15/Aleppo-airstrikes-resume-after-3-week-pause/8561479211543/

Pasha-Robinson, Lucy (2016) ‘Buses used to evacuate Syrians from villages ‘attacked and burned’’, 19 December, online: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-crisis-aleppo-what-is-happening-villages-buses-attacked-and-burned-a7482736.html

Reuters (2016) ‘Syria foreign minister says no to east Aleppo autonomous zone’, 20 November, online: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-aleppo-idUSKBN13F0J1

RT (2016) ‘Russian, Syrian Air Forces did not strike UN aid convoy in Aleppo – Russian MoD’, 20 September, online: https://www.rt.com/news/359990-russia-denies-aleppo-strike/

Sanchez, Raf (2016) ‘UN says armed Syrian groups blocking Aleppo aid for ‘political gain’, UK telegraph, 14 September, online: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/14/un-says-armed-syrian-groups-blocking-aid-to-aleppo-for-political/

SOTT (2016) ‘Keeping their word: No Russian or Syrian airstrikes on Aleppo for 7 days, humanitarian corridors open’, SOTT News, 25 October, online: https://www.sott.net/article/332069-Keeping-their-word-No-Russian-or-Syrian-airstrikes-on-Aleppo-for-7-days-humanitarian-corridors-open

UNGA (2017) ‘Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic’, 34th session, A/HRC/34/64, 2 February, online: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/026/63/PDF/G1702663.pdf?OpenElement

Shocking UN report lists crimes by the Ukrainian authorities

From Strategic Culture Foundation

By Arina Tsukanova
June 11, 2016
Shocking UN Report Lists Crimes by the Ukrainian Authorities

The 13th report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Ukraine between 16 November 2015 and 15 February 2016, when the Minsk Agreements were in force, has come as a shock to Kiev.

According to the UN, more than three million people live in the areas directly affected by the conflict. The exact number of people who have left Ukraine-controlled territory is still unknown, although rough estimates range from 800,000 to 1,000,000 people. The Ukrainian government has estimated that more than a million people have left southeast Ukraine for Russia, Belarus and Europe. This figure does not match that of the Russian federal migration service, however: in 2015, around four million Ukrainians crossed the border, with nearly 2.6 million settling in Russia. More than a million people have arrived from southeast Ukraine. Residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are permitted to live freely in Russia.

The discrepancy in the figures clearly shows that Ukraine is not interested in keeping track of its citizens, whether within the country or abroad. This means that one of the aims of the military campaign launched in the east of the country is to displace the population from the area of conflict, predominantly to Russia. Given that refugees from the republics to Ukraine are facing discrimination in access to public services, according to the UN report, the authorities in Kiev do not seem to want the residents of Donbass either.

The UN also states that those living close to the contact line (nearly 800,000 people) are particularly suffering, and the lives of these people are constantly at risk. The UN mission believes that the assistance being given to the residents of Donbass is insufficient, even given Russia’s humanitarian convoys, although the fact that it was Ukraine that shut down all the social programmes and introduced the ‘blockade’ unfortunately remained beyond the scope of the report.

The UN believes that the permit regime introduced by Ukraine and the disorder at checkpoints are negatively reinforcing the isolation of those living in the DPR and LPR. Queues of up to 300-400 cars waiting on either side of the checkpoints are observed on a regular basis and this recently ended in tragedy. Due to the fact that the Ukrainian checkpoint is not open at night, civilians who had been queuing in their cars overnight were fired at by the Ukrainian side using illegal-calibre weapons (122 mm), resulting in the deaths of five people, including a pregnant woman.

During the period covered in the report, the Ukrainian armed forces have advanced even further into populated areas and the numerous attacks on the residential areas of Horlivka, Shakhtarsk and Debaltseve are also mentioned in the report.

Since the Minsk ceasefire agreements entered into force (i.e. since 15 February 2015), there have been 843 civilian casualties – 235 killed (216 adults and 19 children) and 608 injured (554 adults and 44 children). At the same time, the UN mission notes that it is unable to attribute some of the victims to either side of the conflict. It also emphasises that the real number of those killed and injured could be higher than that given in the report.

The number of people missing is particularly shocking. The Ukrainian side has reported 741 persons missing, while the DPR has registered 420 missing persons. In addition, the UN mission has ascertained that approximately 1,000 bodies held in morgues in government-controlled territory have still not been identified.

And once again the numbers are crying out that the Ukrainian government does not believe people to be important. The number of persons that Kiev has declared missing is a third less than the number of unidentified bodies! And the numbers also ignore the mortal remains in areas where hostilies took place – search operations are virtually non-existent. As the UN report states, there is not even a dedicated mechanism in place to gather statements from the relatives of missing persons.

The UN mission has also not taken into account the number of unmarked graves in cemeteries. The overwhelming majority of missing persons should not be looked for in the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, but among the thousands of bodies that have already been quietly buried or are still lying in morgues. It is possible that the official number of those who will never return has been hugely underestimated.

The efforts of the Ukrainian side aimed at searching for and identifying those killed and those missing are referred to in the UN report using the word «inaction».

Kiev cannot admit that to avoid responsibility, it is secretly carrying out a policy of ‘unidentified bodies’. It is also being suggested to relatives that missing persons are being held captive by DPR and LPR ‘separatists’.

The report concedes that some people recorded as missing may be alive, but are being held in secret places of detention either in the republics or in Ukrainian-controlled territory.

The UN mission has finally figured out that the secret prisons and torture in Ukraine are an established system that has become part of the state and its policies. Of the 1,925 criminal investigations launched into allegations of torture in 2015, 1,450 were closed.

The report has also provided yet more evidence that it is not a civil war. It is a war between those who seized power by means of a military coup and the people of Ukraine, a war that is hypocritically being referred to as an ‘anti-terrorist operation’.

As noted in the report,

throughout the country, OHCHR continued to receive allegations of enforced disappearances, arbitrary and incommunicado detention, and torture and ill-treatment of people accused by the Ukrainian authorities of ‘trespassing territorial integrity’, ‘terrorism’ or related offenses, or of individuals suspected of being members of, or affiliated with, the armed groups.

People are not just being tortured, but are also being executed without trial. In Sloviansk, for example, the basement of the local college is being used for this purpose. A basement used for torture and summary executions was also discovered by UN inspectors in Izium, Kharkiv district. In addition, «a network of unofficial places of detention, often located in the basement of regional SBU buildings, have been identified». The SBU also has such basements in Odessa and Kharkiv. In February 2016, between 20 to 30 people were detained in the basement of the Kharkiv regional SBU building, and the vast majority of prisoners were not arrested in accordance with legal procedures and were not charged.

The report also notes that the SBU obtains confessions of terrorism using torture, and those who sign the confessions are told that should they complain, then their families, including their children, will also be made to suffer. The Security Service of Ukraine refers to such methods as the use of «proportional» and «justified» force.

The 13th report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Ukraine appeared on 3 March 2016, but it is only now that the information bomb has exploded following an article in The Times, in which Ivan Simonovic, UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, talks about the report and also about five secret SBU prisons that a delegation of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture was not allowed access to, resulting in the delegation cutting short its visit to Ukraine…

The 13th report also completely destroys the myth that there are thousands of prisoners in the DPR and LPR. There is no trace of the thousands – in February 2016, the SBU gave the UN mission a list of 136 people who are allegedly being detained in custody in the republics, but nothing is known about this for sure. The list provided by the DPR authorities, however, looks completely different. «Some 1,110 persons were detained by the Government of Ukraine, including 363 members of the armed groups. This includes 577 people arrested for ‘their political views’ and 170 civilians ‘who have nothing to do with the conflict’», says the UN report. The SBU has gone overboard by essentially creating a system of concentration camps. The UN report likens the actions of the SBU to the seizure of hostages.

It has been impossible to keep the scandal hushed up, but while this regime exists in Ukraine, investigations into its criminal activities will be carried out along the same lines as the investigations into the people burned alive in Odessa on 2 May 2014. Namely that the executioners will remain free or under house arrest while the victims are imprisoned. For years.


http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/06/11/shocking-un-report-lists-crimes-ukrainian-authorities.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/shocking-un-report-lists-crimes-by-the-ukrainian-authorities/5530494

Will people of conscience speak out against Kiev’s actions?

Excerpt from
Kiev’s Repression of Anti-Fascism in Odessa
The Reality of the Repression

By Eric Draitser
Global Research, June 04, 2015
CounterPunch

A Message for the Left [and all people of conscience]

The question facing leftists internationally is no longer whether they believe there are fascists in Ukraine, or whether they are an important part of the political establishment in the country; this is now impossible to refute. Rather, the challenge before the international left is whether it can overcome its deep-seated mistrust of Russia, and consequent inability to separate fact from fiction, and unwaveringly defend its comrades in Ukraine with the conviction and aplomb of its historical antecedents.

There is a whole history that is under assault, a whole people being oppressed, a leftist tradition being ground to dust under the heel of an imperialist agenda and comprador oligarch bourgeoisie. Some on the left choose to snicker derisively at this struggle, aligning themselves once again with the Empire just as they so often have in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere. And then there those who, like this author, refuse to be cowed by the baseless slur of “Russian apologist” and “Putin puppet”; those of us who choose not to look away while our comrades in Ukraine are beaten, kidnapped, tortured, imprisoned, and disappeared.

For while they speak out in the face of reprisals, in the midst of brutal repression, under threat of prison and death, the least we can do is speak out from our comfortable chairs. Anything less is moral cowardice and utter betrayal.

Eric Draitser is the founder of StopImperialism.org and host of CounterPunch Radio. He is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City. You can reach him at ericdraitser@gmail.com .

http://www.globalresearch.ca/kievs-repression-of-anti-fascism-in-odessa-2/5453460

“Economic genocide”: Ukraine cuts off payment of pensions to one million senior citizens in Donbass

Posted on Novorossiya Today
Genocide by Non-payment of Retirement Pensions
by Konstantin Dolgov

Ukraine wants to improve the state of its economy at the expense of a million of lives of the retired people in Donbass.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 by the UN General Assembly secured the key rights that all the people should possess. The regime that was established in Kiev after the coup of 2014 had de facto abolished the implementation of this document in regard to a group of citizens of Ukraine.

As we know, Kiev keeps on considering the territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s Republics as part of Ukraine. Hypocritically declaring “the unity of the country” and “the anti-terrorist operation” in order to please the West, in reality Kiev authorities are engaged in the genocide of the population of the region with the aim of improvement of Ukraine’ s economy at the expense of human lives.

Only in accordance with the official data, in the territories of Donbass not controlled by Kiev government more than a million of Ukrainian citizens live, who are living exclusively off the retirement pensions and other social payments. They are the elderly, the WWII veterans, who defeated Hitler or went through Buchenwald or Oswensim. They are the disabled people. They are the people, who have the credit of Ukraine. They had worked for the Ukrainian state all their lives long and paid taxes in Ukraine. Social payment is the natural obligation of the state to these people — they are the only means of livelihood for many of them. Nevertheless since the summer of 2014 Ukraine terminated all social payments to the citizens living in these territories.

In autumn it became a real problem. A million (!) of the elderly and disabled people were forced to travel to the distance of hundreds kilometers for their homes to the territories controlled by Ukraine in order to receive deserved by them payments.  However, eventually the Ukrainian government went even further. Since January 1, 2014 Yatsenyuk’s Cabinet terminated social payments to the people living on these territories. Millions of people were faced with a choice: to leave homes and move for good to the territories controlled by Ukraine (then the payments, although hilariously meager, are resumed), or lose the only source of livelihood and starve. Article 13 of the above mentioned Declaration says that “every person has the right to move freely and chose his/her residence within the limits of each state”. However, the “democratic” Kiev government is not going to pay attention to such trifle as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its strive to reach its goals.

Moreover, the first mentioned option is unrealistic in principle. The average retirement pension in Ukraine amounts to 1600 Hryvnya now (about 65 Euro) per month. The average cost of a bedsitter rent in Ukraine is about 2500 Hryvnya per month (a bit less than 100 Euro). A retired person cannot afford to leave his apartment in Donetsk, Lugansk, Snezhnoye, Ilovaysk and rent an apartment in a city under Ukrainian control. Kiev regime deliberately made such a decision in order to free itself from the obligations in regard to social payments – at the expense of the lives of a million of Donetsk retired people.

On March 12 the International Monetary Fund demanded that Ukraine should resume the payments, but the memorandum adopted implies the settlement of this issue toll the end of 2015, and a million of people have not been receiving the routine payments for half a year already.

Notably, this resolution of Kiev government contradicts Ukrainian laws as well. Article 175 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine states responsibility for the non-payment of pensions and other legally asserted payments. Predictably, the retired dwellers of Donbass started to sue the social bodies of Ukraine. Nevertheless the lawsuits proceeded in accordance with the predictable scenario.

The most well-known precedent is the cases handled by human right activists Kirill Beloshytskiy, Tatyana Volkova and Irina Khyzhnyak. 15 inhabitants of Donbass sued Ukrainian government for the refusal in payment of envisaged by the law pensions with the support of these layers. Surprisingly, the court verdict was just, and the first lawsuit was won by the appellants. On February11, 2015 Kiev District Administrative Court ruled the relevant government statement illegal and ordered to resume social payments to the dwellers of Donbass. However it was just the beginning of the epic.

At once after this court ruling the Ukrainian government submitted an appeal, the consideration of which is still being delayed deliberately. Although Kiev did not stop at that and decided to repress the judges who dared to defend the constitutional rights of the citizens of Ukraine living in Donbass.

As early as on February 16 search was carried out in the building of Kiev District Administrative Court. The search was conducted by the inevitable armed people in face masks, and only later the Prosecutor of Kiev Yuldashev informed the public that the search was sanctioned by him. Moreover, one of the judges concerned, Valeriy Kuzmenko, received an enlistment note soon after that. Sending of disagreeable people to war has long been viewed by Kiev as the repressive means, but it was the first time it had been used as the method of squeeze on court.

The Convention of Prevention of Genocide Crime and Punishment for It, recognized by the entire civilized world, defines genocide as “actions committed with the aim of extermination, complete or partial, of some national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such”, including by way of “deliberate creation for such group of such living conditions, which are aimed at total or partial physical elimination of it”.

If Kiev’s deprivation of a million of the Donbass aged people of all means of livelihood does not suit this definition, then in reality the Convention is not worth of the paper it is written on.

Konstantin Dolgov, the Co-Chairman of the Peoples’ Front of Novorossia, specially for “Russkaya vesna”.

http://novorossia.today/genocide-by-non-payment-of-retirement-pensions-why-ukraine-should-pay-pensions-to-the-dwellers-of-the-donetsk-and-lugansk-people-s-republics/?_utl_t=fb

http://www.globalresearch.ca/economic-genocide-ukraine-cuts-off-payment-of-pensions-to-one-million-senior-citizens-in-donbass/5439254