New Amnesty International’s fabrications aim to interfere President Trump’s upcoming decision on US participating in the anti-terror war in Syria

By Professor Marcello Ferrada de Noli, chair, Swedish Doctors for Human Rights. This article analyses the role of Amnesty International in the disinformation campaign on Syria, and suggests that this recent fake-news endeavour by Amnesty may aim to influence political decision-making in Washington on behalf of the faction that has been supporting the activities of […]

By Professor Marcello Ferrada de Noli, chair,

Swedish Doctors for Human Rights.

This article analyses the role of Amnesty International in the disinformation campaign on Syria, and suggests that this recent fake-news endeavour by Amnesty may aim to influence political decision-making in Washington on behalf of the faction that has been supporting the activities of so called ‘moderate rebels’ indistinguishable from terrorists that are combating the Syrian government. These pro NATO-interventionists have intended to pursue the Hillary Clinton doctrine in the region, aimed to replace secular, independent governments, with fundamentalist rulers willing to comply with their ‘global’ economic and military strategy –the new face of imperialism. They vividly oppose the project of a common effort from the part of the US and Russia to fight the jihadist terrorism in Syria and the region.

The political context

President Donald Trump announced in several occasions that he would cooperate with Russia to fight the jihadist-terrorist enclaves in the Middle East. [1] These terrorist strongholds foremost include those operating in Syria.

In his executive orders issued during the last weeks, Trump has been implementing – one after one – his campaign promises to the voters that elected him. Hence, it would be natural to anticipate that a decision regarding the anti-jihadist war is due to occur soon. What exactly this decision would be is nevertheless difficult to assess in view of recent developments in the White House foreign policy, for instance regarding Iran.

In parallel, the anti-Syria faction operating in Washington corridors of power activates its pressures on the White House and the Pentagon. This is a faction integrated by known Republican politicians [2] (e.g. Senator McCain), Wall Street oligarchs and their stream media, and representatives of the Arab tyrannies that earlier served the Obama-Clinton doctrine of opposing secular governments in the Middle East –for financial reasons. Needles to say, this faction rides on the powerful pro-Israel lobby, which also entails the anti-Iran stance.

These forces vividly oppose cooperation with Russia in the anti-terrorist campaign, at the same time that they advocate for stauncher stances against Iran, which is also an ally in the anti-terrorist fight in Syria.

In this line, a variety of PSYOP has been undertaken –among others by Amnesty International– to discredit the role of Syria and Russia in the important combat against jihadist terrorism. In recent days, Amnesty published a new fabricated report – presenting no evidence whatsoever – around ‘mass executions’ that would have taken place in a Syrian prison named as ‘Saydnaya’, and whose fictional physical features are depicted in an 3-D artistic creation made-up in an UK visual laboratory. [3]

This is not the first time that Amnesty International faces international contempt for its biased position, respectively its groundless statements on the Syrian conflict. Commenting the Amnesty report of December 23, 2015, “Syria: Russia’s shameful failure to acknowledge civilian killings”, the then United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon concluded specifically regarding the verifiability issue in the said Amnesty report:

“The Secretary‑General notes with concern Amnesty International’s report on alleged violations of international humanitarian law resulting from the Russian airstrikes in Syria.  The UN cannot independently confirm the cases presented in the report.“ [4]

The PSYOP routine

The “Fake News” phenomenon is not new, but an inherent phase of the PSYOP endeavour routinely implemented by governmental or corporate agencies, among these the mainstream media. If it seems a phenomenon particularly ascribed to these political times, it’s only because a public debate – initiated in social media – about the meaning and uses of ‘fake news’ has been revived in the last months. The new debate had its start point around fake publications by pro-Clinton stream media targeting the campaign of Donald Trump, which were cabled and reproduced in the rest of Western media. A leading actor in denouncing such fake news was the organization WikiLeaks.

The mainstream media rapidly tried to reverse the paradigm, and subsequently accused either ‘hostile’ government’s agencies in the ‘East’, or alternative media in the ‘West’, of being ‘trolls serving the Kremlin’. To illustrate a modus operandis first used by the MSM for this disinformation purposes, it will be sufficient to recall the Washington Post classical episode of November 2016, namely the promoting of a mccarthyite blacklist sourced in the anonymous site ‘PropOrNot’. [5]

The widespread criticism [6] that Washington Post received for such spurious publication motivated a kind of retraction by the newspaper. The lesson was learnt and the PSYOP routine was changed.

The new fashion is seemingly the sourcing of the fake news either a) from flawed institutional decisions (decisions taken by an institution after been object of serious manipulation, such as the case of a Sweden-funded institution that bestowed the alternative Nobel Peace Prize to the ‘White Helmets”) [7], or b) from a so-called “non governmental organization” (NGO), under the false assumption that such NGO would be independent of governmental policies. This is the case of using “Amnesty International’s reports” as source for disinformation about for instance the Ukraine conflict, or more recently, on the war in Syria.

An illustration of this alternative fake-news modality is given by CNN, whose article’s headline of February 8, 2017, reads: “13,000 people hanged in secret at Syrian prison, Amnesty says.” [8]

Apart of the necessary analysis of such report’s biases, inaccuracies, or plain fabrications, other essential issues that should be examined are, the general political/ideological agenda pursued by Amnesty, and the aspect of who is financing the report. Additionally, the possible participation of government Intel or Security Police officers in formulating such reports or statements produced by Amnesty (as was the case in the statement produced by Amnesty International, Swedish Section, regarding the Assange case. See here, and here). [9] [10]

“Amnesty reports” and Syria

Examining Amnesty International own statements on the situation in Syria, it emerges a biased, pro “moderate terrorists”, general stance. I state this based on Amnesty International’s own document “Annual Report. Syria 2015/2016”. [11]

In the Introduction text of this document, the organization uses it to predominantly indulge in a harsh criticism on the government of Syria and its forces, without any reference to supporting evidence. The text reads, “Government forces carried out indiscriminate attacks and attacks that directly targeted civilians, including bombardment of civilian residential areas and medical facilities with artillery, mortars, barrel bombs and, reportedly, chemical agents, unlawfully killing civilians. Government forces also enforced lengthy sieges, trapping civilians and depriving them of food, medical care and other necessities. Security forces arbitrarily arrested and continued to detain thousands, including peaceful activists, human rights defenders, media and humanitarian workers, and children. Some were subjected to enforced disappearance and others to prolonged detention or unfair trials. Security forces systematically tortured and otherwise ill-treated detainees with impunity; thousands of detainees died as a result of torture and other ill-treatment between 2011 and 2015.” Etc.

Furthermore, ensuing the description ascribed to regular Syrian armed forces, the Amnesty report remarks, “Non-state armed groups that controlled some areas and contested others indiscriminately shelled and besieged predominantly civilian areas.”

Also, no mention whatsoever is done in the Amnesty Report’s Introduction on the groups funded, armed and trained by the governments and interests that that Amnesty International serves (the jihadist-clusters named as “rebels” and that became popularly known as “moderate terrorists”).

Finally, the above-referred text devotes only a couple of lines to ISIS, and where no mention is done about ISIS being a terrorist organization, or a jihadist-fundamentalist organization, or about its brutal executions, etc. Amnesty International refers them instead as to “The armed group Islamic State (IS)”. In other words, the contrast with the description of the professional Syrian Armed Forces that Amnesty does in the same text is significant and appalling.

The Amnesty Report “ Saydnaya Prison, Syria”

With regard to biases and inaccuracies of the Amnesty report on Syria “Syria: Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria,” [12] I firstly refer to an analysis provided in Global Research by Tony Cartalucci.  [13] The author put in evidence that “Amnesty International had no access whatsoever to the prison, nor did any of the witnesses it allegedly interview provide relevant evidence taken from or near the prison.” Catalucci refers to Amnesty’s own text, as it is given in the section “Methodology”:

”Despite repeated requests by Amnesty International for access to Syria, and specifically for access to detention facilities operated by the Syrian authorities, Amnesty International has been barred by the Syrian authorities from carrying out research in the country and consequently has not had access to areas controlled by the Syrian government since the crisis began in 2011. Other independent human rights monitoring groups have faced similar obstacles.”

Cartalucci also mentions that the Amnesty international’s report on Syria was fabricated in the United Kingdom “using a process they call ‘forensic architecture,’ in which the lack of actual, physical, photographic, and video evidence, is replaced by 3D animations and sound effects created by designers hired by Amnesty International.” [13]

The above observations by Cartalucci led me to further investigate the firm providing the service, namely, Eyal Weizman’s “Forensic Architecture”.

In the website of “Forensic Architecture” (the Amnesty International contractor), at section Cases / Saydnaya, [14] we find the following admission:

“As there are no images of Saydnaya the researchers were dependent on the memories of survivors to recreate what is happening inside.”

Here the ‘investigators’ refer to five anonymous individuals they say had interviewed in Istanbul:

“In April 2016, Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture travelled to Istanbul to meet five survivors from Saydnaya Prison.”

And most demonstrative, the fabricators at “Forensic Architecture” declare in the same page: [14]

“The Saydnaya project is part of a wider campaign led by Amnesty International”. [My cursives]

A Wikipedia bio article of Eyal Weizman, the director of “Forensic Architecture”, states:

“Eyal Weizman (born 1970 in Haifa) is an Israeli intellectual and architect. He is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture – a “laboratory for critical spatial practices.” [15]

The article also states that Weizman directs  “Forensic Architecture”, being this a project funded by the European Research Council, adds the article. [15] Now, as read in the corresponding Wikipedia article, the European Research Council (the entity funding Weizman’s project), is an organization ”within” the European Union (EU) and “a part of the European Union’s budget.” [16]

Now, if we compare the stances of the European Union, respectively Amnesty International (also processed by the same European-Union funded ‘Forensic Architecture’), we find those stances identical in its essence:

EU’s statement on Syria:

”The Quint nations and the European Union High Representative called halting the indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian regime of its own people, which has continually and egregiously undermined efforts to end this war.” [17]

Amnesty’s statement on Syria:

”Government forces carried out indiscriminate attacks and attacks that directly targeted civilians, including bombardment of civilian residential areas”. [18]

Finally, “following the money”, we find that Amnesty International receives direct funding by states within the European Union. At least this is the case of the Swedish Section of Amnesty International, which receives funding from governmental agencies. Proof of these donations, and name of the providing institutions, is found referred in the article, “Swedish Doctors for Human Rights rebuts statement by Amnesty Sweden on Assange case“. [19]

The repercussions of the above in the political bias in the statements produced by Amnesty Sweden are unequivocal. Amnesty Sweden has sided  with the Swedish government in every vital geopolitical issue, and in some instances further to the right than the government’s stances.

Furthermore, while SWEDHR and other human rights organization were condemning the torture of Palestinian children by Israeli forces, Amnesty-International Sweden rejected initiatives to take such crimes to the International Court of Justice. [20] In the same fashion, the Swedish Section of Amnesty International voted in an Annual conference to reject human-right actions on the Assange, Snowden and tortured Palestinian children cases; and at that time Amnesty Sweden also had refused to recognize Chelsea Manning as prisoner of conscience in the U.S. [20]

Amnesty-International Sweden has no credibility at all, it can not be truly regarded as “NGO”, and its international fate has been gradually followed by other governmental Swedish institutions at the same pace they are selling the sovereignty of this nation to NATO’s interests.

References and Notes

[1] Reuters, “Donald Trump Would Consider Alliance With Russia’s Vladimir Putin Against ISIS“. Newsweek, 26 Jul 2016.

[2] “Republican senators urge Trump to get tough on Russia”. Gant News / CNN, 9 Dec 2017.

[3] Amnesty International, “Syria: Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria”. 7 Feb 2017.

[4] Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. UN, 23 Dec 2015.

[5] Ben Norton & Glenn Greenwald, “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group“. The Intercept, 26 Nov 2016.

[6] 21st Century Wire, “Mainstream Media Blames Russia for “Fake News” While Pushing Neo-McCarthyism“. Global Research, 26 Nov 2016.

[7] M Ferrada de Noli, “Why Is Sweden Giving the “Alternative Nobel Prize” to Syria’s ‘White Helmets’?” The Indicter, 25 Nov 2016.

[8] “13,000 people hanged in secret at Syrian prison, Amnesty says.” CNN, 8 Feb 2017.

[9] M Ferrada de Noli, “Former paid agent of Swedish Security Police dictated Amnesty Sweden’s stance against Assange“, 6 Mar 2016.

[10] M Ferrada de Noli, “Swedish Doctors for Human Rights rebuts statement by Amnesty Sweden on Assange case“. The Indicter, 15 Mar 2016.

[11] Amnesty International, “Annual Report. Syria 2015/2016”. Retrieved 9 Feb 2017.

[12] Amnesty International, “Syria: Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria.” 7 Feb 2017.

[11] M Ferrada de Noli, “Swedish Section of Amnesty International voted to reject human-right actions on cases Assange, Snowden and tortured Palestinian children.” The Professors’ Blogg, 11 May 2014.

[13] Tony Cartalucci, “Fake News” and Crimes against Humanity: Amnesty International Admits Syrian “Saydnaya” Report Fabricated Entirely in UK.” Global Research, 9 February 2017.

[14] Retrieved 9 Feb 2017.

[15] Wikipedia article on Eyal Weizman. Retrieved 9 Feb 2017.

[16] Wikipedia article on the European Research Council. Retrieved 9 Feb 2017.

[17] EU, “Joint Statement on Syria by the Foreign Ministers of France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States [Obama administration. Editor’s Note], and the High Representative of the European Union”, October 2016.

[18] Amnesty International, “Annual Report. Syria 2015/2016”.

[19] The references in the cited article corresponding to the governmental funding of the Swedish Section of Amnesty International are:

[a] Ett ljus som har brunnit i 50 år. Amnesty Press, 1 June 2011

[b] Anna Widestam. Amnestyfonden. Amnesty Historia – fondens historia.

[c] Ulf B Andersson, Amnesty i Sverige : Är krisen i Amnesty över? Amnesty Press, 2 March 2013.

[20] M Ferrada de Noli, “In the record of anti-Amnesty Sweden: Guantanamo prisoners, detained Palestinian Children, Assange, Manning, Snowden…” Followed by an interview with Dr Lif Elinder. The Indicter, 22 Mar 2016.



The author:

Prof-Marcello-Ferrada-de-Noli-4-Jan-2016-no-glasses-redc-Hanna-to-The_Indicter-644x634Professor Dr med Marcello Ferrada de Noli, formerly at the Karoilinska Institute and ex Research Fellow Harvard Medical School, is the founder and chairman of Swedish Professors and Doctors for Human Rights and editor-in-chief of The Indicter. Also publisher of The Professors’ Blog, and CEO of Libertarian Books – Sweden. Author of “Sweden VS. Assange – Human Rights Issues.” Apart of research works published in scientific journals,  his op-ed articles have been published in Dagens Nyheter (DN), Svenska Dagbladet (Svd), Aftonbladet, Västerbotten Kuriren, Dagens Medicin,  Läkartidningen and other Swedish media. He also has had exclusive interviews in DN, Expressen, SvD and Aftonbladet, and in Swedish TV channels (Svt 2, TV4, TV5) as well as international TV and media (e.g. Norway, Italy TG, Cuba, Chile, DW, Sputnik, RT, Pravda, etc.).

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