Haitham Al Manaa’, spokesperson for the Arab panel for human rights, told Al Bawaba Sunday that the panel has invited various Arab and Kurdish parties to meet in Paris to discuss Al Qamishli riots that took place last Friday. Al Manaa’ added that the panel is also stressing the urgent need for reform.
The panel held the Syrian security apparatus responsible for the tragedy. Reports said that at least 15 people were killed in the riots that interrupted a soccer match between Syria’s Jihad and Fatwa teams.
“The Syrian security apparatus are the ones to blame; they were the ones who opened fire on innocent civilians. We ask all Syrians to rise above the calls for sectarianism and to listen to the voice of reason in order to solve this issue” Manaa’ told Al Bawaba.
“We are demanding a local yet independent panel to investigate the incident. In the case that such a panel is not formed, we would be willing to cooperate with the human rights organizations in Syria [within the scope of the investigation] to try to establish the parties responsible,” Manaa’ concluded.
Ghazi Al Deeb, director general of the Syrian Arab News Agency - SANA, (the official government news source), explained to Al Bawaba that what had happened in Qamishli was very sad indeed, however “many parties are trying to exaggerate the incident for their own political gain. A mere sporting riot was exploited to get people to leave the stadium and street-riot,” Deeb added.
Syria's state-run newspapers and news agencies generally act as mouthpieces for the government.
“Kurds are an essential part of Syrian society. The Syrian government does not differentiate between its citizens, especially within its official institutions. Syria had a Kurdish prime minister in the past and the current grand mufti of Syria is a Kurd…serving his post as a Syrian rather than a Kurd,” Deeb explained.
Deeb also confirmed that the Syrian government has already formed an investigative panel to look into the incident. The panel is expected to conduct a thorough investigation and bring those responsible to justice. (Albawaba)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )