The Syrian Coalition mourned the death of veteran Syrian dissident and activist Orouba Barakat and her daughter, journalist Hala Barakat who were found murdered in their house in Istanbul on Thursday.
News about the death of Orouba and her daughter Hala was reported on Thursday after Turkish police found them murdered in their house in Kadıköy neighborhood in Istanbul.
In a Facebook post, Orouba Barakat’s sister Shaza said they had been “assassinated” by the “hand of injustice and tyranny” -- a reference to Bashar al-Assad’s regime. She said that Orouba wrote articles that appeared in the front page of newspapers for nearly 40 years. Orouba wrote to chase and expose criminals. Today her name and the name of her daughter Hala are in the front pages of newspapers.
The Syrian Coalition said that “the hand of terrorism and tyranny is the prime suspect in this heinous crime. The Coalition is absolutely confident that investigations being conducted by the Turkish authorities will reveal the details of the crime.”
In a press release issued on Friday, the Coalition praised Barakat’s contribution to the Syrian revolution.
“Orouba Barakat was known for her principled positions and active participation in the Syrian revolution and her firm support and commitment to its principles and aspirations. Barakat’s contributions will have a lasting impact long after her departure. Her daughter Hala played an important role in supporting the revolution and exposing the crimes of the Assad regime through her work as a journalist.”
The Coalition extended its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Barakt as it stressed that the Syrian people will remain forever true to the messages left by our fallen heroes and that the revolution will emerge victorious no matter what the odds. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Former Secretary General of the Syrian Coalition, Abdul Ilah Fahad, called for bringing Bashar al-Assad and all those involved in the use of chemical weapons in Syria to account, the incidents of which all have been confirmed by UN investiogators.
Fahad was speaking during a conference on chemical weapons and mines in the US capital Washington in the period between 19-21 September.
Fahd gave a detailed overview of the number of victims of chemical attacks. He pointed out that the failure to hold Assad accountable for these crimes gave him the green light to launch more attacks against the Syrian people.
Fahd urged the international community to provide urgent assistance to the Syrian people and support their demands for freedom and dignity. He emphasized that this can only be achieved through the achievement of transitional justice after war criminals have been held to account.
UN investigators in early September announced they had evidence of the responsibility of the Assad regime for at least 27 out of 33 chemical attacks that took place in Syria following the issuance of UN Security Council resolution 2118 in 2012. The attacks included the April 4 sarin attack on the town of Khan Sheikoun claiming the lives of around 100 civilians, many of them women and children.
The Coalition called for the activation of Article 21 of UNSC resolution 2118 which threatened measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in case chemical weapons were used. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The delegation of the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) which is visiting the United States stressed the need to resume the Geneva negotiations and overcome the obstacles being put by the Assad regime in the way of political process.
The delegation on Thursday met with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Oman’s Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi, Denmark’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, and the UN Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura.
During his meeting with De Mistura, Hijab stressed the need for the UN mediator to adopt new approaches to overcome the main obstacles to the political process. He said that chief among these obstacles are the intransigence of the Assad regime, its refusal to cooperate with the UN efforts, its persistence in committing crimes against the Syrian people, and its insistence on resolving the conflict through mass forced displacement and the fueling of sectarian tensions.
Hijab warned of attempts by some forces with expansionist ambitions to discredit the HNC and use the political process as a means to help Bashar Al-Assad restore the legitimacy he lost due to his use of chemical weapons and other internationally prohibited weapons against Syria’s civilians.
Hijab also warned of the dangers of bowing to the pressure being exerted by Bashar al-Assad's allies who are seeking to influence the UN mediation efforts and pushing for ignoring the key issues relating to the political process, most importantly the issues of detainees, transitional justice, and accountability for crimes against the Syrian people.
The HNC delegation is accompanied by members of the Coalition’s political committee in Badr Jamous, member of the Coalition’s General Assembly Abdul Hakim Bashar, and head of the Coalition’s foreign mission in Washington Najib Ghadbian. The delegation’s visit came on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)