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CONTACT: Natalie Larrison, 501-520-8522, [email protected]
CDS DECRIED THE CONSIDERATION OF IRANIAN FM MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF FOR THE 2017 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
Washington, DC - The Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) decries the consideration of Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in the international nuclear negotiations.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has listed Foreign Minister Zarif and Federica Mogherini on its shortlist of nominees for this year’s Peace Prize for their involvement in negotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was intended to limit Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon.
While some have lauded the deal as a victory for nonproliferation, the deal has undeniably emboldened Iran to double down on its support of the Assad regime in its assault on Syrian civilians.
Iran and its militias continue to serve as the ground force for the Assad regime, in the service of which they have committed several human rights abuses documented by the UN and international monitors, including extrajudicial executions, besiegement, and sectarian cleansing. The UN has said that suffering in besieged Madaya, where Iran and its proxy Hezbollah besieged and starved innocent children to death in 2015, had no precedent in Syria war. Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif has also repeatedly denied that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against civilians, including in April 2017 as part of the attack on Khan Sheikhoun that prompted U.S. action.
“The militias acting under the command of the Iranian Government and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have committed innumerable atrocities and are responsible for propping up the Assad regime,” said Mouaz Moustafa, Executive Director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force and a spokesperson for CDS. “Zarif’s support of these militias and of the Assad regime not only endanger the lives of Syrian civilians and undermine efforts for an international peace, but they also directly threaten U.S. regional security interests.”
“Awarding the Nobel Peace prize to FM Zarif, who represents Iran and its policy of destabilization, shamefully demonstrates to Iran and to the world that the international community is truly indifferent to the crimes committed against Syrians and other civilian victims of Iran’s brutality,” said Mirna Barq, President of the Syrian American Council, and a board member of Syrian Christians for Peace, both members of CDS.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee’s award decision will be announced publicly tomorrow.
Also under consideration for the Nobel Prize is the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, who despite being routinely under attack by Iranian-backed forces have saved over 99,000 lives.
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is a group of Syrian-American non-profit organizations working together to bring about a swift end to the conflict and support the establishment of peace, freedom, and democracy in Syria. CDS is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, non-partisan organization. CDS includes: Syrian Emergency Task Force, United for Free Syria, Syrian American Council, Syrian Christians for Peace, the Association of Free Syrians, and the American Syriac Union.
CONTACT: Natalie Larrison, 501-520-8522
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THE SYRIAN EMERGENCY TASK FORCE APPLAUDS GROUP “CAESAR” FOR TAKING THE 2017 NUREMBERG HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD FOR THEIR COURAGE
Washington, D.C. - The Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) is proud to announce the “Caesar” team has been presented with the 2017 Nuremberg International Human Rights Award, for its courage in bringing the systematic torture and mass murders in Syria to the attention of the world public on Sunday, September 24, 2017.
This honor is extended to all of those who have worked to bring awareness and shed light on the behavior of the Syrian government who have documented the torture and death of thousands of civilians in Syria, and the processes they have used to manipulate false death certificates and confessions from the incarcerated.
Special thanks goes to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for their display of Caesar’s story and many public events surrounding the search for justice for victims for the “disappeared” in Syria. We also thank Ambassador Stephen Rapp, former Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, who held the tribute to the winners of this prize in Nuremberg, Germany. We’d also like to recognize the journalists and documentarians who have revealed “Caesar’s” story to publications so that more people may be aware of the atrocities occurring under our noses in Syria.
The Syrian Emergency Task Force continues to serve the unheard voices of Syria and seeks courts that can be used to bring accountability to those whose lives have been unrightfully taken.
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is a group of Syrian-American non-profit organizations working together to bring about a swift end to the conflict and support the establishment of peace, freedom, and democracy in Syria. CDS is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, non-partisan organization. CDS includes: Syrian Emergency Task Force, United for a Free Syria, Syrian American Council, Syrian Christians for Peace, Association of Free Syrians, and the American Syriac Union.
The Syrian Emergency Task Force applauds the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) for filing a criminal complaint with German prosecutors based upon evidence in the Caesar file. This is a case that SETF has worked closely on alongside Sami, Caesar, and Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, former head of the Office of Global Criminal Justice at the State Department in Support of ECCHR's efforts.
On September 21 2017, thousands of photographs of corpses in Syrian government detention facilities were passed along to the German Federal Prosecutor by “Caesar and Sami”. Caesar, the Syrian military police defector smuggled these photographs back in 2014 to shed light on Assad’s brutal human rights violations. As a result of this case German authorities can use “Caesar“ photos to issue international arrest warrants against Assad regime officials.
“This is another major step towards accountability for the Assad regime for its crimes against humanity” said Mouaz Moustafa, Executive Director of SETF. “We are honored to work closely with Caesar, Sami, Ambassador Rapp, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in support of ECCHR's efforts in bringing this case forward and we will not rest until we can file criminal complaints against the Assad regime all over the world” he added.
In coordination with Caesar and Sami and other great individuals and institutions, SETF has worked tirelessly to build awareness of the Crimes committed by the Assad regime. We have in the past worked to organize Exhibits of Caesar’s photographs at the UN General Secretariat, the United States Congress, as well as the Parliaments of Europe, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The photos have also been hosted at events in partnership with universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.