Oral Statement by United Nations Watch
Agenda Item 4 – ID with Commission of Inquiry on Syria
UN Human Rights Council, 38th Session
Delivered by Mr. Mouayed Askif, June 26, 2018
Thank you, Mr. President. My name is Mouayed Askif. I am a Syrian journalist, and it is my pleasure to speak on behalf of UN Watch.
I belong to a Syrian family that is well-known for its struggle on behalf of freedom. Like millions of Syrians, we have peacefully fought for our rights.
In April 2013, the Syrian security forces broke into my brother’s house, terrorized his family, and detained him in front of his wife and children. This occurred at the same time as the detention of my paternal uncle Hamza Askif, and others.
A few months before this happened, and in the same brutal manner, my paternal uncle Mustafa Askif was also detained. He was not an activist in any way. His son Alaa was also detained, as was my paternal uncle Bassel Askif. They were both opposed to violence in all forms. They were all detained at their places of work, in Damascus’ market. We have not heard anything from them since, nor have we heard anything from Bassam Karmout and Majdi Karmout.
From this podium, I demand that the fate of the members of my family be immediately disclosed, as well as the fate of the hundreds of thousands of other detainees. This matter, for which politics must be set aside, needs to be given top priority. A decisive moral stance must be taken against this crime of the century.
Mr. President: The scent of chemical weapons is still in the air, and the victims live on in our memories. We can list their names for you, as well as the names of the hundreds of thousands of victims of barrel bombs, and of the hundreds of thousands of people, who are imprisoned in hell.
How, Mr. President, can this criminal be rewarded with the participation of his representatives in discussions concerning human rights values? How can he head the Conference on Disarmament?!
Mr. President, country representatives: As I speak to you, blood is flowing in southern Syria as a result of Russian and Syrian raids, while the representative of the regime wishes to deny what the world is seeing!
As a Syrian citizen, I demand the following: that the tragedy in Syria be stopped; that a statement of condemnation be issued, accompanied by a series of practical measures; and that representatives of the Syrian regime be forbidden from participating in international institutions, in particular those relating to human rights, which are supposed to represent the sum of human experience and values, while calling for justice and strengthening human rights values.
Thank you, Mr. President.