Saturday June 17, 2017
01:01 PM GMT+8

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JUNE 17 — The importance of highlighting human rights violations is something universal what more if it involves abduction, torture, and genocide. To understand the gravity of human rights violation it is vital, to understand it from the lens of victims and their families who directly or indirectly suffer from such violations. This would require a broad and objective understanding of human rights violations.

If this is what is desired I welcome PKR leader Nurul Izzah effort to get a bipartisan support to condemn atrocities in Syria. Unfortunately the answer is no. She seems to focus and target the Bashar Assad regime, rather taking a balance stand by also condemning the atrocities by extremist rebel groups in Syria who oppose his regime.

Extremist rebel groups such as Levant front, Nour al-din al-Zenki, Jabhat al Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham have killed significant number of Syrian people, soldiers, Christians, Shite, alawites,and drove them out their villages, with a single objective of toppling the secular government of Bashar Assad.

This has been substantiated by a report from leading Human Rights organisation, Amnesty International in the year 2016. The report states that Syrian rebel groups backed by the United States and its allies have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, including abductions, torture and summary killings.

They have created repressive theocratic regimes in areas they conquered, where critics are violently silenced and religious and ethnic minority groups fear for their lives. Regionally these extremist groups are supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar with the US as a strategic ally and military backer.

The question is why is the Syrian government alone been singled out has a violator of human rights? This is why I’m skeptical about the ability of Pakatan Harapan to have an independent foreign policy, especially in addressing human rights in the national and global level.

It is vital for justice, that any bipartisan effort that is proposed should take into account the moral and ethical dimension of human rights that encourages an objective evaluation of atrocities of both sides in Syria. This would require the Barisan National and Pakatan Harapan parliamentarians to go beyond the selective nature of addressing human rights.

This would entail taking a broader Syrian victims point of view instead of the one proposed by Nurul Izzah which is myopic and bias.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.

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