Syrian Delegation Brutally Beaten by Opposition Figures in front of AL HQ in Cairo
Writer/Source: Sana (21/11/2011)
Members of the Syrian delegation, who traveled to Cairo to express the Syrian people's rejection of the Arab League (AL) decision against their homeland and any foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs, were brutally beaten by figures and hirelings of the opposition abroad in front of the AL Headquarters in Cairo.
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Some members of the delegation, which included legal, economic, artistic and youth figures, were moderately to severely injured in the attack and taken to hospital.
Syrian Media Attaché at the Syrian Embassy in Cairo, Ammar Arsan, said the delegation arrived in the Egyptian capital on Saturday to stage in a peaceful sit-in in front of the AL protesting its unjust decisions against Syria.
Arsan noted that the delegation, whose majority were women accompanying their families and children, was first harassed upon its arrival at Cairo Airport, yet the members remained composed and calm and preserved the peacefulness of their move.
"Upon their arrival in a place near the AL HQ, groups of the opposition living in Cairo who represent Istanbul Council and other hired Egyptian thugs openly assaulted the delegation members, an assault can't be described less than as a dangerous terrorist act," the Syrian Media Attache added.
He added the injuries ranged from moderate to severe, pointing out that actor Zuhair Abdel-Kareem is suffering serious head injuries.
Arsan expressed the Syrian Embassy's surprise at the negative and neutral reaction of the Egyptian security authorities in terms of their dealing with the situation despite the fact that the Embassy had in advance made its contacts informing that the delegation was coming to participate in a peaceful sit-in and nothing more, and despite their knowledge of previous attacks committed by those people against Syrian citizens who earlier came to express their stance before the AL HQ.
He added that the attackers besieged the Embassy, started cursing and threatened to storm the building and set it on fire ignoring the presence of some Egyptian army personnel who were there to protect the Embassy.
Arsan assured that the situation of the Syrians who were attacked is good, stressing that their security is the Embassy's responsibility. He noted that the Egyptian authorities were given the names of the attackers.
"We came to Cairo to convey a clear message in a purely peaceful way," said Syrian actress Toulai Haroun in a statement to SANA. "No sooner had we reached the AL's door than a group of youth ran after us with sticks and stones, while two youths caught me and almost forced me into a car in an attempt to kidnap me, but some Egyptian youths saved me."
"Some of the attackers were paid money and asked to attack us in front of the our eyes," she added.
"Is the kind of dialogue you want that of sticks and stones?"Haroun asked the opposition whose members attacked the Syrian delegation.
"What happened is unbelievable…We were surprised by a rain of stones from those who claim to be 'freedom advocates'," said Ma'an Abdel Haqq.
Lina Hawarneh, a Syrian actress, said we wanted to tell the AL that we support the dialogue and reforms and reject the AL 's unjust decisions against Syria which pave the way for foreign interference.
Actor Zuhair Abdel-Kareem, who was seriously injured in his head, said that "We are a group of youths, doctors, engineers, lawyers and university professors who came to Cairo to condemn the decisions taken by the AL which encourage shedding the Syrian blood."
"We were told that we would be under protection from the moment we left the hotel till we reached the AL, but nobody was there to protect us when the attack began,"Abdel-Kareem pointed out.
He called upon the Egyptian authorities to shoulder their responsibilities to protect the Syrian diplomats and the delegation members from similar savage attacks.
The Syrian delegation carried a statement to the Arab League which stressed the Syrians' rejection and condemnation of the AL decisions and all forms of foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs.
"We condemn the AL's policy towards Syria and its people which ignores the will of the majority of the Syrian people who have been taking to the street every day to call for national dialogue, rejecting violence and adhering to the comprehensive reform process launched by President Bashar al-Assad," said the statement.
It added that the unjust and unbalanced decisions of the AL against Syria reflect the League's deviation from the goals of the joint Arab action and hidden intentions to eradicate the Arab identity, give up the key issues of the Arab nation and undermine Syria's sovereignty, stability and security in its effort to provide a cover for foreign interference in its affairs and draw it into civil war.
SHRN Condemns Assault on Syrian Delegation in Cairo
The Syrian Human Rights Network (SHRN) on Sunday condemned the assault which took place in Cairo against a Syrian delegation comprising artists and youth figures in addition to jurists.
The delegation went to Cairo to hold a sit-in in front of the Arab League headquarter in condemnation of the AL illegal decisions concerning Syria.
In a statement, the SHRN said that these irresponsible and savage acts are one of the Istanbul opposition's characteristics.
The network pointed out that this assault wasn't the first, as a Syrian delegation of the national opposition was also beaten earlier on November 11th in Cairo.
The SHRN considered the silence of the AL on these acts as a flagrant violation of its charter, demanding the Egyptian authorities to shoulder responsibility in investigating the case
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