Bearing Witness in Syria – A Correspondent’s Last Days
March 4, 2012
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This morning I read an article in the New York Times titled “Bearing Witness in Syria a Correspondent Last days” which consisted on the trip of two journalists smuggling into Syria in order to obtain firsthand information on the current situation of the country. The story of their journey is narrated by only one of them, because the other reporter Anthony Shadid, passed away in Syrian ground due to an allergic reaction. The article narrates the inhume conditions in which the Syrian population is living in, affirming that most activist have either been jailed or tortured by the Bashar regime military. The editorial piece also explains how the fighters are recently defected Syrian Army soldiers, who are apparently more organized than the Libyan rebels. During their stay the journalist were able to witness a battle between the ruthless Syrian army and the rebel fighters, a situation in which the most affected are the civilians who are forced to hide and relocate to safer ground every time there is a confrontation. The article demonstrates the chaotic state of Syria, hospitals are barely functioning, patients are being force to recover at home, power cuts are constant and there is a shortage in fuel. Doctors are killed or tortured for helping wounded fighters or opponents to the Assad government. Despite the violence and risks of helping foreign reporters, the activists who sheltered the two New York Times journalists are willing to jeopardize their lives to help them attain as much information about the atrocities being committed and reveal them to the world.
Up until today about 7000 Syrians have been killed, journalist and activists are risking their lives to expose the situation in hope that the international community will intervene. Nevertheless we still have not seen the most important nations put a stop to the situation. The Security Council needs to make a referral to the ICC as soon as possible. To me it is more than evident that Assad fits the definition of a war criminal and his government has certainly committed crimes against humanity, how many more deaths are we going to need in order to put a stop to the situation and seek for justice?.
I also found the article intersting because it displays a photograph of a young teenage boy, of approximately 13 or 14 years of age carrying a firearm. The New York Times identified the kid as a “young fighter”, therefore couldn’t he be considered a child soldier? Doesn’t this picture confirms that the Syrian fighters are also committing crimes against humanity by recruiting children?. And If the UN Security eventually refers the case to the ICC , couldn’t the rebel leaders be charged with crimes against humanity?