Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Arab League observer denies receiving death threats | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

Rabat, Asharq Al-Awsat- A Moroccan member of the Arab League observer mission in Syria has denied that its members are receiving telephone death threats; a sentiment reiterated by Ahmed Ramadan, a media officer in the Syrian National Council.

The Moroccan observer, who chose to remain anonymous, said in a telephone interview with Asharq al-Awsat: “We have not received any death threats, at least in the delegation I am in”. He added “these rumors are not true, we have instead found great interest in our work, whether from the governmental authorities or from the Syrian people of various affiliations”.

In response to a question about whether the mission’s personnel are undertaking their tasks in normal conditions, the Moroccan observer said: “We are working in difficult conditions, of course, by virtue of the ongoing demonstrations”. He added “we also receive enquiries from people about the nature of our work, and we have noticed that the Syrians respect the Arab observer mission”.

Furthermore, the Moroccan delegation participating in the Arab League observer mission denied that one of its members – human rights observer and media expert Tala al-Saud al-Atlasi – had made a statement to television channels about snipers being located on the roof of a building in Daraa.

Television channels had broadcasted a video of an Arab observer speaking with a North African accent, confirming the presence of snipers in Daraa, saying: “there are snipers, we saw them with our own eyes…We call on the authorities to remove them immediately”. The Moroccan observer speaking to Asharq al-Awsat commented on the video saying “there is a resemblance between the Arab observer who made that statement and al-Atlasi, but I assure you that he was not present in that area”.

In turn, a source from the Moroccan delegation told the Morocco News Agency yesterday that al-Saud al-Atlasi was not present in the location where the Daraa statement was given; rather he was on another mission elsewhere in the city. He added that the statement attributed to al-Atlasi by a number of satellite channels was in fact from another member of the delegation of Arab observers. Morocco is participating in the Arab League observer mission in Syria with a high-level delegation, consisting of Abdul Rahman Benomar, the Moroccan Ambassador to Nouakchott [Mauritania], as coordinator of the delegation, in addition to ten diplomats, human rights observers and military and security experts. Benomar is also heading the delegation of Arab observers in Hama, central Syria.

Members of the Arab League observer mission in Syria’s respective delegations, including the Moroccan observers, are continuing their field visits for the seventh day in succession in five regions of Syria, namely Hama and Homs (central Syria), Idlib (in the northwest), Daraa (in the south) and Damascus.

For one month – with the option of a further month extension in agreement with the Arab League and Syria – the mission will survey and monitor the full implementation of the Arab League initiative. This includes the cessation of all acts of violence, from any source, in cities and residential areas, ensuring that the Syrian security services are not obstructing peaceful demonstrations, ensuring the release of those who have been detained as a result of recent events, as well as the withdrawal and evacuation of all armed vehicles or movements in cities and neighborhoods that have witnessed, or are witnessing, the demonstrations and protest movements that have been ongoing for approximately the last 10 months.