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Washington takes heat off President Bashar al-Assad

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The State Department has cut its funding to the Syria Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC) that it set up in the Hague in 2013 with a view to prosecuting Syrian President Bashar Assad for crimes against humanity.

For the past two years, the SJAC has collected evidence of crimes attributed to the Syrian Arab Republic in crushing the "revolution".

With an annual budget of $ 5 million, the SJAC was founded at the request of the April 2012 "Friends of Syria" International Conference in Istanbul. 40 States subsequently met in Morocco to endorse its statutes and provide for its funding.

In 2008, the UN Secretary-General and Lebanon’s prime minister established in The Hague a "Special Tribunal for Lebanon" to try President Bashar al-Assad for the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri. But all the testimonials and evidence having fallen apart, President al-Assad was never indicted. However, last week, former Lebanese Minister Marwan Hamadeh testified for three days before the "Special Tribunal" about confidences that the late Rafic Hariri had allegedly shared with him regarding threats proffered against Hariri by President al-Assad.

In 2013, the US Goodwill Ambassador on War Crimes, Stephen Rapp (photo), requested Jordan, Turkey and other states to set up a "UN Special Tribunal for Syria." However, his efforts fell through.

On the Syrian side, the Atlanticist narrative of a savagely repressed revolution is unequivocally refuted and it is affirmed that the Syrian Arab Republic and President Bashar al-Assad are innocent of the crimes they are charged with. In addition, the "Friends of Syria" are accused of having staged a pseudo-revolution to attack the country and, thereby, of being the real and sole culprits of the crimes perpetrated during the war. Finally, it is pointed out that, despite the prohibition notice issued by the "Friends of Syria" to prevent Syrian citizens exiled abroad from voting, 63 percent of Syrians went to the polls in June, electing President Assad with a sweeping 88 percent of the vote. Therefore, the controversy was settled by the Syrian people themselves.

The State Department has decided to shift the funds to a new programme in charge of establishing the crimes committed by the Islamic State.

To date, the "Office of Global Justice", attached to the State Department, has provided no explanation for its policy change.

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