Meeting with Ribal Assad in the UK Parliament should be cancelled
Caabu’s Director, Chris Doyle has written an article in the Guardian calling for the cancellation of a planned talk by Ribal Assad in Parliament on Monday 11 July.
“It would be deeply inappropriate particularly whilst Hama is being attacked, people killed, tortured and arrested, that the son of the man accused of masterminding Syria’s most notorious massacre in Hama should be addressing Parliament. Whilst Ribal Assad is not responsible for his father’s (Rifat Assad) actions, he has failed failure to condemn them and to detach himself from his father, whilst there remain serious questions over the source of the huge family wealth. Lest it ever be forgotten, Rifat Assad is widely reported including rights groups as being responsible for the Hama massacre in 1982 amongst other crimes.
All this has made him totally unacceptable to many Syrians. Ribal Assad continues to act as an apologist for his father and as such, should not be welcomed at the centre of our democracy. Moreover, it is an insult to other Syrians far better qualified and with more credibility than Ribal, that he continually gets called upon to speak to politicians and appear in the media. Ironically, it is the Assad regime in Damascus who will be most delighted to hear about this appearance, as they will no doubt use this to portray Western politicians as being in bed with Rifat’s entourage whom so many Syrians view with disgust.”
The meeting is for politicians only and is being hosted by Andrew Rosindell MP.
Notes to editors:
1. The article can be viewed here http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/07/rifaat-assad-syria-parliament
2. For more information contact Chris Doyle, on + 44207 832 1321 or +447968 040281.
3. Between 10-40,000 Syrians were massacred in Hama in February 1982. Rifat Assad was in charge of the special forces involved.