Michael Isakoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, releases a powerful video and story from first-hand experience with Syrian refugees inside Lebanon.
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon — Families crammed into ramshackle tents. Children playing amid garbage. Their parents, bewildered and fearful — with no place to go.
That is life in Jdita, a settlement center for Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
“What you see now is how we live every day,” says Hana Khalaf, surrounded by a half-dozen young children, her nephews, nieces and cousins, huddled together on the tent floor. “Life is monotonous. The situation is difficult. Imagine, you never know when your tent will catch fire.”
Her country has been on fire for six years. There are 4.8 million refugees from Syria’s civil war. That’s more than five times the number of Palestinian refugees created by the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. An estimated 1.6 million Syrians are in Lebanon, where most can’t get work permits due to onerous local regulations. Many of the children in Jdita have no school to attend.
So the families wait endlessly in their tents — for something to change.
But nothing does.
Read full story here.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. hosted a public program, "Saving a Syrian Synagogue" on the evening of February 15, 2017 at 7PM EST. SETF executive director, Mouaz Moustafa, translated for Rabbi Avraham Hamra, Chief Rabbi of Syria, and Aahed Sulayman, a Syrian man who sought to save the synanogue. Learn about the event here. and you may watch this event which was streamed live here.
The Syrian Emergency Task Force assisted in the efforts in Jobar to protect ancient Judaica and one of the oldest synagogues in the world. This work was covered by a Wall Street Journal article written by Adam Entous, who was also a speaker at the event. You can read his article here.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will host a public program, "Fleeing Atrocities: Witness Perspectives" featuring speakers Alfred Munzer, Holocaust survivor, and Mouaz Moustafa, executive director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force. The public program will take place on February 22 at 7pm at The University of Miami Newman Alumni Center.
View article and get tickets here.
The Syrian Emergency Task Force helped arrange the interview between Ambassador Stephen Rapp, former head of the Office of Global Criminal Justice, with Christiane Amanpour of CNN, where the two discuss the prosecution of war criminals in Syria.
Ambassador Rapp addresses Amnesty International's report that 13,000 people have been secretly hanged with merely minutes-long trials in Syrian prisons. The larger story is that these crimes are occuring in more prisons than Saydnaya, evidenced by the Caesar photos that came out in 2013. He tells Amanpour that "conservatively, we're looking at 50,000 Syrian civilians tortured and murdered by their own government."
See the full interview here.
Amnesty International's report on the systematic torture at Saydnaya prison in Syria reveals that over 13,000 people have been secretly hanged since 2011.
A former prison guard described how detainees are severely beaten throughout the night before being driven to an “execution room”:
"Whoever comes can beat them, until the officer arrives. We already know they will die anyway, so we do whatever we want with them."
Amnesty International also lets you see inside one of the world's most terrifying prisons, Saydnaya. Experience it here.
Joshua Berlinger from CNN also covers the mass torture and hanging of Syrians in secret prisons run by the Assad regime. The story covers the notoriously cruel Saydnaya prison, one of many "human slaughterhouses" inside Syria.
"(CNN)Thousands of people have been hanged at a Syrian prison in a secret crackdown on dissent by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a report by Amnesty International has alleged.