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Monday, May 28, 2012

Britain's Channel 4 to show #MrandMrsAssad documentary blaming Assad's for killing

Britain's Channel 4 is going to show a documentary on Monday evening that blames Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma for the killing in Syria.
The programme shows intimate footage of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and his wife Asma that helps explain why the West bought the idea they were true modernisers.

When Bashar took the reins of power after his father's death in 2000, the West was drawn into a hope and belief that Syria would be a new force for change in the Middle East. The Assads were seen as a glamorous couple with modern Western morals and values; he was hailed a reformer, she was the 'Rose of the Desert'.

Key leaders and figures in the West welcomed the young couple, convinced that the softly spoken London-trained ophthalmologist and his beautiful British-born former investment banker wife would bring reform and modernisation to a country that had been run by an iron-fisted dictator for nearly 30 years.

But it seems the West was duped. Instead of a transparent and progressive leadership, what has emerged during a year-long bloody uprising is evidence of the regime's gross systematic human rights abuses, including widespread killings and torture, while the Assads look on.
But the Assad's do more than 'look on' according to the documentary.
Defectors from Syrian intelligence and security agencies, used by the regime to crush the 14-month-long revolt, told Dispatches that Assad's cousin, Brigadier-General Atef Najib, issued "shoot-to-kill" orders against civilian protestors in Deraa, in April last year. "Kill quotas" were reportedly issued to snipers tasked with assassinating pro-democracy activists, the defectors told Channel 4.

Channel 4 said it is also alleged that Assad's brother Maher, a senior army commander, was among senior figures operating out of a secret command center in Deraa when orders were issued to contain a protest march by all means necessary. More than 100 civilians were shot dead. Maher is also accused of ordering the indiscriminate mass-punishment of the entire male population of a troublesome town, al-Moudamya, later the same month, according to the Dispatches investigation.

The Channel 4 documentary also will screen footage of Assad and his London-born wife, Asma, relaxing and joking together in 2009.

In it, the president says: "Every mistake (that) happens in this government, you are responsible, not somebody else. Not the minister. Not the prime minister. At the end you should be responsible."

The documentary also examines emails which, according to Channel 4, indicate that the Assads were aware of the arrest of individuals as part of the crackdown on anti-regime activists. In two separate cases, they appear to have personally intervened to secure the release of detainees.
You can watch a preview here.

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