Film screening; "The Case against Assad"
November 20, 2017
The case against Assad
I watched the film The Case against Assad by Sara Afshar and Nicola Cutcher on Friday night in Lansdown Hall. The film, shown by Mid Gloucestershire’s Amnesty International group, graphically outlines the use of torture by the Assad regime and demands justice for the thousands of Syrians who have disappeared as a result of the actions of Assad and his henchmen.
We were fortunate to have Nicola with us to explain how the film was made. The personal testimony of those interviewed makes a powerful and compelling case against the Syrian Government.
Without doubt Assad, and other key members of his administration, should be tried for what they have perpetrated, but there will be others who are also guilty for fuelling this terrible conflict.
To me, Syria is but one manifestation of the proxy war that has been happening for a generation between Iran and Saudi Arabia. We are seeing this again played out in Yemen, and another front is about to explode in the Lebanon.
The West, for its own strategic advantage, has largely stood back and watched these conflicts escalate which is an appalling indictment of our unwillingness to engage to try to bring peace to this bedevilled part of the world.
At the very least we should have taken a much more aggressive stance towards the Saudis who are using British weaponry to pursue a terrible war against the Houthis in the Yemen.
In Syria, Assad seems to have largely recaptured power in the country with the defeat of ISIS/ISIL, but the price of this success has been terrible in terms of the loss of human life and the mass migration of people.
Thankfully we are doing our little bit in Stroud to receive Syrian families who hopefully will be able to start a new and successful life in our communities.
This is the least we should be doing, for this conflict has shamed all of us for the manner in which it has been waged.
I believe that in due course Assad will be brought to book. In the meantime I hope that those of you who haven’t seen the documentary will try to do so. Unfortunately it has yet to be shown in Parliament because its planned viewings became victim to the Westminster terror attack and the general election. I hope to be able to do something about this. My only warning is that the content is harrowing.
MP for the Stroud Constituency