Rebel Groups in CAR Re-recruiting Child Soldiers

By Ryan Aliman
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

BANGUI, Central African Republic – On Monday, a top United Nations (UN) official denounced the re-recruitment of child soldiers by rebel groups and pro-government militias in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Rebel groups in CAR such as Seleka have recruited children, ages 3 to 18, as soldiers according to UNICEF. (Photo courtesy of CISA News Africa)

UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui expressed her dismay and concern after learning that armed groups such as ‘Séléka’, the Convention des patriotes pour la justice et la paix (CPJP) and the Union des forces démocratiques pour le rassemblement (UFDR), have been enlisting children among their ranks once again. According to reports, such enlistments are currently on the rise in spite of previous promises made by the said groups to end this practice.

Last November, both the UFDR and CPJP entered into agreements with the UN that they will exclude minors from membership and ultimately, keep children out of the conflict. The UFDR promised to release children in its ranks to the UN, whereas the CPJP signed an action plan to end the recruitment and use of children in line with Security Council resolution 1612.

The following month, however, the UN received reports that the CPJP refused to release two girls in an incident in Aigbando. Also, former child soldiers who were already in the care of UN’s children’s agency were getting numerous death threats from the same rebel groups.

“The reports of child recruitment are a flagrant violation of commitments made by the CPJP and UFDR and must stop now,” Ms. Zerrougui said. “The same actors have been violating child rights with impunity for too long. We will continue to monitor the situation and if no progress is made, we will engage the Security Council on this matter,” she added

Ms. Zerrougui also questioned the Government’s commitment to protect children from the ongoing conflict. She received additional reports claiming that the Government has “called on youth in Bangui to mobilize and arm themselves to counter the armed groups alongside militias.”

“These developments are unacceptable,” Ms. Zerrougui insisted. “Child recruitment is a grave violation. Children separated from armed forces and groups are victims, not perpetrators, and have to be treated as such. Going forward, I urge the Government to take its responsibility to protect children seriously, and to refrain from inciting violence.”

Based on a recent report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), almost 300,000 children have been involved with various armed groups in the country even before the major outbreak of rebellion last month. Most of them were street children and orphans which made them easy targets for kidnap and recruitment. Armed militias would abuse and force these children – both boys and girls – to fight and carry supplies.

 

For further information, please see:

United Press International – Children recruited for CAR fight – 22 January 2013

Spy Ghana – UN Astonished About Central African Republic child soldiers report – 22 January 2013

All Africa – Central African Republic: UN Official Disappointed By New Reports of Child Soldiers in Central African Republic – 21 January 2013

Al Jazeera – CAR child soldiers face death threats – 19 January 2013

All Africa – Central African Republic: Seleka Rebels and Army Using Child Soldiers – 11 January 2013

 

Syria Deeply: 23 January 2013

All information and videos contained in this post are original content posted with permission from Syria Deeply, an independent digital media project.  For further information, please visit their website.

Videos

http://youtu.be/q_ABlCHuiYg&w=500&h=400

 

The Forum
The Battle for Latakia Part II – by Karen Leigh

 

Recent Headlines
Syria’s Food Shortages Worsening – Washington Post
Syria Rebels Accused of Looting Churches – Aljazeera
Syria’s War: The Axis Power – The Economist

 

Community Op-Eds
Caravan Aid: Yes, You Can Do Something About Syria – by Yassamin Ansari

 

Syrian Rebels Reportedly Destroyed Religious Sites

By Ali Al-Bassam
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

DAMASCUS, Syria — Last Wednesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported three incidents in which rebel groups appeared to have intentionally destroyed or allowed the looting of minority religious sites in northern Syria during the months of November and December of 2012.  HRW believes that such actions indicate that the Syrian conflict is becoming more sectarian.

HRW accused Syrian rebels of intentionally looting and destroying religious sites. (Photo Courtesy of RT)

“The destruction of religious sites is furthering sectarian fears…,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East Director of HRW.

Local witnesses had reported that rebels looted two Christian churches in the western governorate of Latakia, a relatively peaceful province of Syria.  Rebels were also accused of destroying a Shi’ite “husseiniya,” a religious site constructed in honor of Hussein, a martyr in Shi’ite tradition, in Zarzour, a village located in the Idlib governorate.  Its windows had been shattered, prayer stones were found all over the floor, walls were charred from flames, and what appeared to be remnants of a burned prayer rug lay on the floor.  HRW found evidence that  linked the attacks on the religious sites to areas that were falling under the rebels’ control.

Footage which was posted on YouTube on December 12 showed rebels celebrating a victory as the husseiniya burned in the background.  In the video, a fighter is seen yelling “The destruction of the dens of the Shi’ites and the Rafida,” a derogatory term used to describe the minority sect of Alawites, from which President Bashar Al-Assad is a member of.

Sunni residents of Zarzour said that the burning of the husseiniya prompted their Shi’ite neighbors to flee from the village.

On December 11, in Jdeideh, a village in the Latakia governorate, a local resident reported to HRW about how gunmen broke into the church and looted it.  During the looting, they shot off multiple rounds within the church, causing heavy structural damage.  HRW confirmed the attack after inspecting the church.  Local rebels denied that they attacked the church.  “While the motivation for the church break-ins may have been theft rather than a religious attack, opposition fighters have a responsibility to protect religious sites in areas under their control from willful damage and theft,” HRW said.

Gunmen also broke into the church in the village of Ghasaniyeh, where they stole gas and diesel fuel.  Apart from a cross on the floor, there were no indications that the building was damaged.

International humanitarian law prohibits parties involved in armed conflicts from attacking religious buildings which are not used for military purposes.  Parties cannot seize, destroy, or willfully damages religious buildings or any other cultural property.  Such attacks are recognized as war crimes.

For further information, please see:
Al Jazeera — Syria Rebels ‘Attacked’ Religious Sites — 24 January 2013
The Daily Star — Syria Rebels Must Protect Religious Sites: HRW — 23 January 2013
Human Rights Watch — Syria: Attacks on Religious Sites Raise Tensions — 23 January 2013

Fate of Five Ahwazi Arab Prisoners at Risk of Imminent Execution Unknown; International Community Should Pressure the Islamic Republic of Iran to Halt the Executions of these Men

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

23 January 2013 – The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center joins Iranian civil society, Arab rights groups, and groups working towards global abolition of the death penalty to express its deep concern over the imminent execution of five Ahwazi Arab prisoners in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI).

In a joint statement released today, 30 NGOs including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi called for the immediate halt of the executions of five men— Jaber Alboshoka, Mokhtar Alboshoka, Hadi Rashedi, Hashem Shabaninejad and Mohammad Ali Amourinejad.

In recent days, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have, respectively, called for a halt to the executions, and expressed concern over the fairness of the trials of the five men and allegations that they were subjected to torture.

The five men were sentenced to death last June.  On Wednesday, January 9, 2013 their families were notified that the death sentences for the five men were upheld by Iran’s Supreme Court. Family members maintain they have no current information about the whereabouts of the five men since they were transferred by security forces from Karoun prison in Ahwaz to an undisclosed location last Friday, January 18.

“Ahwazi Arabs constitute one of the most socially, politically and economically marginalized minority groups in Iran today,” said Gissou Nia, Executive Director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. “The lack of due process and fair trial guarantees afforded these five men is in part a reflection of the larger bias the central government in Iran demonstrates towards this minority group. The Iranian government must do its utmost to address the patent irregularities in the judicial process for these five men and halt their executions immediately.”

With no official indication of the location and status of the five prisoners, they can be executed at any time.  The international community should take immediate action to prevent the execution of these five men.

For further information please contact:
Gissou Nia
Executive Director
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center
Email: gnia@iranhrdc.org
Phone: +1 203 654 9342

ICTJ World Report: January 2013

Syria Revolution Digest: Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Our Identity Crisis!

As sectarian trends continue to increase and a new conflict pitting Arabs against Kurds explodes, albeit in slow motion, it is becoming increasingly clear that Syrians are going through a major identity crisis with all the trimmings. We may not have a Syria left at the end of this Revolution, but, hopefully, we will end up knowing who we are, or at least more of who we are, at this particular moment in history. Whether we end up liking and accepting ourselves or each other is a different matter. But only people who know and accept who they are, at least at a certain level, can make peace with each other and the world. So, peace will have to wait for a while in our parts, even if the price of war is high. Because the price of ignorance, especially self-ignorance, is even higher.

Today’s Death Toll: 164, including 12 women and 22 children. 71 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its suburbs, including 8 martyrs in Medira and 8 who had been field-executed in Douma; 32 martyrs were reported in Daraa; 14 in Aleppo; 13 in Homs; 11 in Hama; 11 in Idlib; 11 in Deir Ezzor; and 1 in Lattakia (LCCs).

Points of Random Shelling: 278: including 13 sites that were subjected to aerial shelling. Regime forces used barrel bombs on 3 areas across Syria and 1 area was subjected to cluster and thermobaric bombardment. 133 areas were subjected to artillery shelling; 68 areas were subjected to mortar shelling; and 76 areas reported rocket shelling (LCCs).

Clashes: The Free Syrian Army (FSA) clashed with regime forces in 126 locations, managing to down an attack helicopter flying over Koweires Military Airport in Aleppo and seizing control of the club checkpoint near the Daraa Balad gas station. The FSA also managed to target checkpoints at the oil press and canning plant with mortars, and the Hamidieh camp with homemade rockets. The FSA also destroyed a number of personnel carriers and other materiel belonging to the regime in cities and towns across Syria (LCCs).

News

Russia’s Evacuation From Syria Reflects Doubts About Bashar Assad’s Hold On Power In addition to tens of thousands of Russians permanently living in Syria, most of whom are Russian women married to Syrian men and their children, there are also an unspecified number of diplomats and military advisers along with their families. The evacuees were permanent residents not connected to the embassy.

Diplomatic options fade in Syria, as refugees pile up Daily life is mostly spent fending off the cold. There is no electricity, no heat and no running water. Few international aid workers dare to travel to Syria to help… The Turkish government is building another camp that can take up to 3,000 refugees, but that is not much comfort to the more than 40,000 Syrians who are stranded along its border.

US Senators Urge Stronger Response to Syria Crisis Republican Senator John McCain led a delegation of lawmakers that recently returned from a trip to the Middle East and Afghanistan.  At a news conference Tuesday, McCain relayed messages the group received from Syrian opposition leaders and refugees. “We heard desperate pleas for U.S. support and assistance,” said McCain… Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said, “The situation in Syria is getting increasingly dire. And it appears the Assad administration is dug in pretty hard.  So there is a real danger of the warfare prolonging, and while it prolongs having the Syrian state devolve into potentially ethnically-cleansed enclaves, and a huge vacuum left for jihadis and extremists to launch attacks from.”

Rebels in northern Syria pin hopes on airbase’s downfall The siege does underscore one important point: It has taken less than a year for Syria’s rebels to go from being hunted in their homes to now encircling and attacking some of the largest military bases in the country.

Life in Lebanon “horrible” for Palestinians fleeing Syria: U.N. Donors needed to do more to help at least 20,000 Palestinians who have already come in and more than 200 who join them every day, the chief of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Filippo Grandi, told Reuters.

Saudi says negotiated Syria settlement “inconceivable” “Damascus… which has been a city for the longest period of time, is carpet bombed. How can you conceive of the possibility of a negotiated settlement with somebody who does that to his own country, to his own history, to his own people? It is inconceivable to us,” Prince Saud al-Faisal told a news conference. He was speaking after an Arab summit focusing on economic development, which was not attended by Syria.

 

Special Reports

Richard Cohen: Obama’s failure in Syria

In retrospect, this was a war of necessity. It was necessary to avoid a regional calamity, the spread of more violence to Lebanon and Iraq. It was necessary to avoid a humanitarian disaster; great suffering that could have been avoided or at least mitigated. It was necessary to take a stand against barbarity because this is — is it not? — a basic obligation. It was necessary to intervene because we could do so at very little cost… We are talking, simply, of saving lives. It was necessary, finally, because not only must the thugs of this world be held accountable by the world community, they must know they will be held accountable by the world community… This — a furious sense of moral indignation — must return to U.S. foreign policy and be the centerpiece of Obama’s second term. This is no longer a matter of choice. It is a necessity.

Increasingly desperate

A CAMP for displaced people in Atmeh is a good measure of the worsening crisis in Syria. When your correspondent last visited the town, just inside Syria’s northern border with Turkey, in September, hundreds of people were sitting under olive trees hoping to cross into Turkey. Four months later the sea of white tents stretches into the distance. Whole streets and villages from rural Idleb and Aleppo have been transplanted here—almost the only source of comfort in the relentless misery.

Syria’s Kurds: A Struggle Within a Struggle

Syria’s conflict gives its Kurdish population an opening to rectify historic wrongs and push for more autonomy, but facing internal divisions, poor ties with the non-Kurdish opposition and regional rivalries, its challenge is to articulate clear, unified and achievable demands.

Defying Common View, Some Syrian Kurds Fight Assad

A rebel commander seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, he described the choice of a cornered man. His resistance began with peaceful demonstrations, he said. When the government answered with force, his tactics changed. “It was only after they showed that they would kill us that we became armed,” he said. But there is a difference between this story and many others. Mr. Abdulkader is a Kurd, not an Arab, which means his experiences and decisions upend conventional wisdom that holds that the Kurds do not see this as their fight.

The Nonexistent Red Line

In sum: The White House wouldn’t know if Assad were about to use chemical weapons, couldn’t be sure if he had used chemical weapons, and in any case isn’t going to do anything about chemical weapons until Assad leaves. In reality then, the president has no red lines for Assad…

 

Video Highlights

A just released video shows the second rocket as it hits the University of Aleppo compound on January 17, belying the regime’s story of a car bomb attack http://youtu.be/NIZbxvrEZeM

Leaked video: pro-Assad Alawite militias in Deir Ezzor execute a young member of a local FSA unit, with the usual glee http://youtu.be/Km9V2f71rbU

Major Defection: Last week hundreds of soldiers defected from pro-Assad militias fighting in Damascus and her suburbs, most of whom came from a Sunni Arab or Kurdish background hailing from Al-Jazeerah region in Syria’s northeast (the provinces of Raqqah, Deir Ezzor and Al-Hassakeh). Today 450 of these soldiers arrived in the province of Al-Hassakeh and were warmly received by local rebels http://youtu.be/P3K77f5KKk0

Rebels in Idlib Province use homemade missiles in an attack on a local loyalist militia headquarters http://youtu.be/4Pn2ov2KouU

In Medira, Damascus, today’s fallen included many children http://youtu.be/012PyVA5q0U More people were killed in nearby Douma http://youtu.be/7WjbQRqyEZo

To the west, Assad armies keep patrolling the outskirts of the Daraya suburb http://youtu.be/Pc2HDdAqXO0 Sometimes rebels manage to take down some of these tanks http://youtu.be/DLBpKT9bSrQ But the use of MiGs gives Assad the upper hand as usual http://youtu.be/Dkvm8kp0NIg

This leaked video shows pro-Assad militias using missile launchers based in the nearby hills to pound the town of Mouadamiyah http://youtu.be/sPitF6wuTM8 and again at night http://youtu.be/YigQmQ5rqEQ

Meanwhile, the pounding of the town of Zabadani continues http://youtu.be/7negEGSKMaM

In Hama, pro-Assad militias stationed in the Hama Military Airport used missile launchers to pound nearby communities http://youtu.be/VGNDX0bkWiA , http://youtu.be/dnrxaYk0-NM

In Homs City, aerial bombardment against restive neighborhoods continues: Jobar MiG diving for the kill http://youtu.be/kF62FOqfy2s and another dive http://youtu.be/YMZv95-Sops The destruction is immense http://youtu.be/nG29Syb3ohw

Meanwhile, in the neighborhood of Baba Amr, local doctors save the life of another pro-Assad fighter they captured. The man admits that he comes from the majority-Alawite and Shia town of Mukharram. He says he was recruited by pro-Assad militias, that he is poor and that he and his children had no heating oil or food. He asks his children to forgive him in case he didn’t live to see them again. He tells them to pay attention to their school work, not believe the regime’s lies and not watch Syrian state TV http://youtu.be/vXscH1oIMeg

In this video testimony released by Islamist rebels in Ras Al-Ain, a Kurdish man is seen admitting that he is a member of the PKK and that he and his friends are working in tandem with Assad and Iranian security, including Assad’s security chief Muhammad Mansourah. Kurds from the town of Ras Al-Ain, however, belie this testimony and say the man is a local baker and that the testimony is coerced like those of captured activists paraded on Syrian state TV confessing to all sort of crimes after being tortured http://youtu.be/hohiUQBnBk4 Meanwhile, clashes pitting Arab and Kurdish rebels continue http://youtu.be/hohiUQBnBk4

 

US and Canada to Extend Mali Support Mission

By Heba Girgis
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

BAMAKO, Mali—As of this morning, Wednesday, January 23, 2013, the United States Air Force C-17 cargo jets have made about five different flights to Mali. The jets dropped off about 80 French troops and more than 124 tons of supplies to help in the fight against insurgents who are trying to take over the country.

US troops are helping to move equipment from France to Mali. (Photo Courtesy of BBC News)

The United States airlift began two days ago, on Monday, and is expected to continue for another few days. Pentagon press secretary George Little said, “We continue to consult with the French on further steps that we may take as United States government to support their (French) efforts in Mali.”

French military spokesman, Thierry Burkhard, noted that, “the priority is to move heavy, bulky things” such as armored vehicles.

But France and the United States are not the only Western countries involved in the aid. Canada is also expected to extend its own commitment to Mali, the decision, however is still pending some final consultations with other allies also involved in the conflict.

Last week, French President Francois Hollande made a direct request through a telephone call with Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking for an extension of Canada’s air transport commitment. This week Canada received another similar request. This time, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius asked the Canadian government to help deliver African troops to Mali’s capital. France, currently, has more than 2,000 troops on the ground in Mali. At the same time, troops from neighboring African countries have been arriving almost daily into Bamako.

Just last month, the United Nations approved plans to send in about 3,000 West African troops into Mali to recapture the desert region that had been taken over by Islamist insurgents. Now that France has intervened, the regional force, under Nigerian command, has begun its deployment.

On Monday, Malian forces were able to recapture the central towns of Diabaly and Douentza without any aid. Speaking on this, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, “This advance by the Malian army toward the cities held by their enemies constitutes a certain military success for the Bamako government and for French forces, who have intervened in support of these operations.”

He further stated his “total confidence” in French forces in a mission that “aims to restore sovereignty to Mali on its territory and to prevent the risk of the constitution of a terrorist sanctuary in the heart of Africa.”

 

For further information, please see:

BBC News – Mali Conflict: US Begins French Troop Airlifts – 22 January 2013

BBC News – UK to Consider Boosting French Mali Operation Support – 22 January 2013

CBC News – Canada Expected to Extend Mission in Mali – 22 January 2013

CNN News – United States, Italy Lend Support for French in Mali – 22 January 2013

 

Charles Taylor Appeals Conviction While Prosecutors Seek Extended Sentence

By Hannah Stewart
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands — Former Liberian President, Charles Taylor, began to appeal his conviction 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, torture and the use of child soldiers.  Taylor, 64, is the first former head of state since World War II to be convicted of war crimes by an international court.

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor  begins appeal process. (Photo Courtesy of Fox News)

Taylor began in Liberia’s civil war as a warlord in 1989, and was elected president in 1997.  He governed for six years before being forced into exile in southern Nigeria.  He was arrested in 2006 while trying to flee Nigeria and was tried before the Special Court for Sierra Leone, for what was described “some of the most heinous crimes in human history” by one judge.  Throughout his trial Taylor maintained his innocence.

Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison last year for aiding and abetting rebels in Sierra Leone during the 1991-2002 civil war.  Over more than a decade of brutal conflict, Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels murdered, raped and mutilated their way across Sierra Leone.

Prosecutors contend that Taylor’s sentence should be extended to 80 years for giving orders to rebels.  Prosecutors say that this will send a stronger message to those who facilitate atrocities.  Prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian said that the court should, “hold responsible not only those who perpetrate the crimes but also those who promote them.”

In return for providing arms and ammunition for the conflict, Taylor received “blood diamonds,” as the stones from Sierra Leone’s conflict zones were known, including a 45-carat diamond and two 25-carat diamonds.  The prosecution argues the relationship was even closer, and that Taylor was in direct charge of the rebels as they terrorized a civilian population.

In their written appeal, Taylor’s lawyers claim “the Trial Chamber’s approach extends criminal liability far beyond its proper bounds as recognized in international law.”  Moreover, they contend that the judges had erred in convicting Taylor last year, because they failed to link him to criminal acts committed during the war.  Ultimately, the defense argues that crucial evidence against Taylor was no more than hearsay.

Prosecutors disagree.  They told Tuesday’s appeal hearing that Taylor’s involvement went beyond helping the commission of crimes, saying that he should be convicted for the direct commission of war crimes and for instigating them.  The appeals hearing will continue on Wednesday.

Notably, last week Taylor reportedly wrote to the senate demanding a presidential pension of $25,000 (£15,600) in Liberia.  He described the withholding of his state presidential pension as a “mammoth injustice.” Taylor was quoted in the letter as saying that he was entitled to consular access and diplomatic services at The Hague, but he had been “denied that right.”

For more information, please see:

ABC News – Charles Taylor Appeals War Crimes Conviction – 22 January 2013

BBC News – Liberia’s Charles Taylor Appeals at The Hague – 22 January 2013

Fox News – Former Liberian President Charles Taylor Appeals War Crimes Conviction, While Prosecutors Urge Rejections – 22 January 2013

Reuters UK – Prosecutors Seek Tougher War Crimes Term for Liberia’s Taylor – 22 January 2013

 

 

Syrian Revolution Digest: Monday, 21 January 2013

Return of the Pink Panther!

When you are the President of the United States, to condemn means to act, that’s why President Obama cannot even bring himself to condemn Assad’s proliferating crimes, for he is simply unwilling to act. His “better half” might like bright red, but he seems partial to pink himself, at least when it comes to his thinly drawn lines. It’s not that the President is afraid or indecisive. No. He is simply ideologically indifferent to the suffering of others. Since America is not the cause of what is happening in Syria, then, and from his perspective, America has no responsibility there. Case closed, but Hell just opened its doors, and its demons may not be so discerning.

Today’s Death Toll: 110 (including 8 children and 6 women)

31 martyrs were reported in Aleppo, 26 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 17 martyrs in Homs, 12 martyrs in Daraa, 9 martyrs in Idlib, 9 martyrs in Hama, 3 martyrs from Raqqa who martyred in Daraa and 2 martyrs in Deir Ezzor  (LCCs).

Points of Random Shelling: 260

21 points that were shelled by warplanes, 4 points using TNT barrels, 4 points using cluster bombs, 2 with vacuum and phosphorus bombs; 124 points were shelled with heavy artillery; 78 points were shelled with mortars; 56 points were shelled with missiles (LCCs).

Clashes: FSA rebels clashed with regime forces in 113 locations, during which they liberated the Almashlab checkpoint in Raqqa, and targeted a youth building housing shabiha in Hama. They also repelled several attempts by regime forces to storm Daraya and Eastern Ghoutah (LCCs).

 

News

Moscow Is Sending Planes to Lebanon for 100 Russians Leaving Syria It was not clear whether the news signaled the beginning of a large-scale evacuation. Russia has an estimated 30,000 citizens in Syria, including government and military personnel, private contractors, and tens of thousands of women married to Syrian men. Around a dozen Russian ships are in the Mediterranean off the coast of Syria for naval exercises and could, officials have said, be used to evacuate Russian citizens.

30 pro-regime forces killed in Syria blast A suicide car bomb exploded Monday outside the headquarters of a local government-sanctioned armed group in Syria, killing at least 30 armed people loyal to embattled President Bashar al-Assad, according to an opposition group and state-run television. The blast occurred at an old carpet factory in the eastern Hama countryside that was being used by the local People’s Committee group, according the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Arab League: Syria Envoy Mission Makes No Progress Nabil Elaraby, addressing Monday’s opening session of a two-day Arab economic summit in Saudi Arabia, proposed that the gathered heads of state call for an immediate meeting of the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for a cease-fire in Syria and establish a monitoring force to ensure compliance with the truce.

Syria Assembles New Paramilitary Force Aided by Iran Syrian regime has assembled a new paramilitary force, many trained by Iran, to fight what is becoming a guerrilla war… The force, dubbed the National Defense Army, gathers together existing popular committees of pro-regime civilian fighters under a new, better-trained and armed hierarchy, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, according to AFP.

Atrocities Plague Syria, Over 3,500 Children Killed “Media reports today (Friday) from the scene of mass killings in the village of Hasawiya outside Homs said whole families were among the dead in horrific circumstances,” said Maria Calivis, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Assad’s mother leaves Syria Ms Makhluf’s ‘‘departure from Syria is another indication of Assad losing support even from within his family”, said Ayman Abdel Nour, head of the newly-formed group Syrian Christians for Democracy and editor-in-chief of opposition news website all4syria.com.

Earlier

Largest Russian naval exercise in post-Soviet era

Non-lethal chemical weapons used in Syria, Le Monde says

Syria says talk of Assad’s removal unacceptable

 

Special Reports

The pickings of war
The border zone between Turkey and Syria has become crucial to the economic survival of many Syrians. As refugees flee, activists bring in vital food and medicine, fighters smuggle in weapons, and entrepreneurial types make money from the war. As soon as a Turkish police patrol clears off, horses trot Turkish gas into Syria. A Syrian man hustles his sheep in the other direction, for sale in Turkey. Generator providers and bread sellers do well too.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Does Anyone Give a Damn About Syria?
The United States is the world’s strongest nation with the loudest voice. Can’t President Obama speak out? I know we’re not ready to invade Syria or impose a no-fly zone. Americans don’t have the stomach for another war, or an invasion. But does that absolve us from simply condemning the slaughter in the strongest possible terms?

Syria and the risk of Somalisation
If the crisis continues, Syria risks not so much division into hostile states as happened in Yugoslavia, but control by warlords who will persecute the Syrian people.

Andrew J. Tabler: A Syria Strategy for Obama
First, Washington should use Patriot missile batteries in an offensive capacity against regime aircraft — and deploy them defensively against SCUD and Fatah 110 missiles targeting opposition-dominated areas along Syria’s borders with Turkey and Jordan… Second, Washington should provide a package of intelligence-sharing, military training, and other security assistance to mainstream nationalist, non-extremist groups that have been vetted by Western countries, both to increase their military capabilities and in exchange for any chemical weapons captured from the regime’s stockpiles… Third, Washington and its allies should provide local communities supporting mainstream groups that cooperate with Washington’s program to secure chemical weapons with a larger civil assistance program. Large swaths of Syrian urban and rural areas have been ravaged by war, and the task of providing services and rebuilding basic infrastructure will be extensive.

Michael Doran and Salman Shaikh: The Road Beyond Damascus
To stave off disaster and play a leadership role in shaping Syria’s future, the United States should provide lethal assistance to the Syrian opposition, forge a genuine national dialogue that includes Alawis and Christians, and create an International Steering Group (ISG) to oversee and lend support to the transitional process, including the creation of an international stabilization force to provide protection to Syrian civilians. You will need to engage directly with President Putin to overcome already weakening Russian resistance to these essential endeavors.

My bout with the flu coincided with many important turns in the Syrian crisis: the bloodiest week on record since the beginning of the Revolution with close to 800 dead, the intensification of the ethnic cleansing campaign in Homs (city and province), the opening of a new front in the war pitting Islamists rebels against Kurdish fighters, and the intensification of battles in Western Ghoutah in Damascus, especially in the suburbs of Daraya and Mouadamiyah, to name but a few.

UN-Insanity: Before we delve in our coverage of past events, however, it is important to highlight the insanity of a recent plan by the UN to deliver aid to the Syrian Regime. It is something out of theater of the absurd. The UN plans aims to transfer “$519,627,047 to cover the period of January 1, 2013 to the end of June, 2013”  as an effort aimed at “supporting the Government of Syria’s efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to the affected populations.” As to why would the UN expect a government that has spent billions over the last 2 years trying to pound these very population into submission be excepted now to reverse course and begin delivering aid to the people it seeks to subjugate, no explanation is provided. This is simply unbelievable. By funding Assad, the UN will be officially joining the war against the Syrian people, not helping them. Opposition activists have been signing petition and making calls to officials trying to convince them to put a freeze on this plan, but so far, to no avail. Assad might have been right about the Cosmic Conspiracy after all, but it is not against him, it’s against the people.

Ethnic Cleansing in Homs was marked by an intensification of aerial raids and ground bombardment of restive neighborhoods in Homs City and a series of attacks and massacres in surrounding villages and towns, including a massacre against over 100 residents that took place last week in the village of Haswiyeh:

Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad swept through a small farming village in central Syria this week, torching houses and shooting and stabbing residents in an attack that killed up to 106 people, including women and children, activists said Thursday. The assault on Haswiyeh outside the city of Homs took place on Tuesday, but was only coming to light two days later as the scale of the killings became more apparent. The attacks appeared to have sectarian motives and bore a resemblance to the attack last May on the nearby village of Houla that killed 108 people and drew international condemnation of the Assad regime.

Government, as usual, continue to blame “terrorists,” but activists tell a different story and the victims just happen to be Sunnis. One villager told the BBC the army was present at the time of the deaths.

Soon after Haswiyeh, another massacre took place. This one was in Kafar ‘Aya on the outskirts of Bab Amr neighborhood in Homs City http://youtu.be/BjLkvHhgmpQ Treating the wounded http://youtu.be/26SR8xaEnfI ,http://youtu.be/FGMQ_GxE5ws Some doctors have to struggle to keep themselves from falling apart as they watch more and more bodies being brought in http://youtu.be/rywPZBeUIIk But for some children, help has come too late http://youtu.be/J876gDvU0rA

Today, another massacre took place in Baba Amr, 20 people were killed, including a family that was set on fire. We see their bodies in this video, but we see as well an injured member of Alawite militia said to be responsible for the attack. He was treated, and according to Dr. Mohammad Al-Mohammad, he will not be killed and will be taken a prisoner http://youtu.be/vqAdJuzEo4k

Divisions and increasingly rivalry among rebel groups as well as a more coordinated campaign by pro-Assad militias took their toll over the city and the province over the last week, but over the last couple of days, rebels have managed to regroup and are now pushing back.

Daraya, Western Ghoutah, Damascus Suburbs: Pounding by MiGs http://youtu.be/n1pqLRyJHJM ,http://youtu.be/N_2OZByFhMw Incendiary Cluster Bombs are used http://youtu.be/r8hyXC72BGI Missiles and rockets are also used http://youtu.be/Y3n2AN8V6zY The destruction http://youtu.be/TqrMQO0DnwI Collecting the dead from under the rubble is a daily routine http://youtu.be/bjwqlYqWeQk and a nighttime activity as well http://youtu.be/ETrjvMGAJz8 But Assad pro-Assad ground troops continue to be held at bay http://youtu.be/f3R5hNqJSYk And many are killed http://youtu.be/QTjOxNtc3wc Nearby Mouadamiyah was not spared http://youtu.be/UzSwZRs84d8 , http://youtu.be/gz3A0PG72vo

And the pounding of Eastern Ghoutah went on all throughout this period http://youtu.be/483jCFljkkM ,http://youtu.be/mgi354EH_gg , http://youtu.be/RD-z1YNRxSk Pulling bodies from under the rubble in Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/xQL3XXQ550w , http://youtu.be/_DMFubmxIvs Mayhem in Arbeen http://youtu.be/qRh4BLEZpg8

On the overall course of battles in Damascus, I had this to say to Mike Giglio of the Daily Beast a few days ago:

“I think the rebels have been forced to halt their push into Damascus for now, on account of the brutal bombardment of host suburbs by the regime,” says Ammar Abdulhamid, a U.S.-based dissident and fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies… But most analysts expect that Assad will soon face another push from the rebels in Damascus—and that the capital will remain battered by conflict for months to come. “The battle is not over,” says Abdulhamid of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “As usual, in a few weeks, after reconsidering their tactics, regrouping and acquiring some more supplies, a new drive [by the rebels] will begin. Giving up is simply not an option for either side.”

Serekanye/Ras Al-Ain: Islamist rebels deployed tanks in their fight against Kurdish militias in town and reportedly shelled civilian neighborhoods. The Kurdish militias are members of the so-called YPG or local protection units established by residents in cooperation, as many believe, with PYD, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK in Turkey. Islamist rebels seem to have moved into town weeks ago specifically to contain what they consider to be growing separatist threat by the local Kurdish population and have been supported by some local Arab tribes. Meanwhile, Kurdish groups across the Kurdish-majority areas in the northeast remain too divided to pose any such threat, and have been calling for some form of administrative autonomy. Kurds have also been concerned over the increasing Islamization of the Revolution as most Kurds remain staunchly secular. The rebels are reportedly to be coordinating their moves with members of the Syrian National Council and the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as certain tribal leaders, including Nawaf Al-Bashir. Jabhat Al-Nusra is involved as well, but mostly through its affiliates.

Further underscoring the ideological divide on this issue among revolutionaries, most YouTube networks dedicated to the revolution, such as Sham News Network bill their videos of the clashes: “clashes between FSA and Assad militias.” Naturally, Kurdish sites refer in their coverage to “terrorists” or Erdogan and Nawaf Al-Bashir Brigades”

 

Videos

Islamist rebels deploy tanks http://youtu.be/8Z2_hbkiY_Y , http://youtu.be/aoml_qrBuyg and arrest and beat local civilians who are obviously unarmed accusing them of being PKK members http://youtu.be/fd3zTmXZkTg Some of the Kurdish fighters involved in the clashes http://youtu.be/dYDN1D8nZF8 Rebels saving an injured colleaguehttp://youtu.be/UdBc9ZD854I Local Kurds saving an injured civilian http://youtu.be/ZBvUmQ52V7E

Clashes from the point of view of rebels http://youtu.be/ey2qUVaTeWk Use of the agreed revolution’s flag in this clip, rather than the black banner of Islamist groups, indicates that not only Islamist groups are taking part in the clashes on the side of the rebels, tribal groups are involved as well, perhaps at this stage leading the chargehttp://youtu.be/fsdwydb4QLI

As part of the increasing propaganda campaign meant to incite rebels against Kurds, this is one of the video clips being circulated through social media, it shows PKK fighters in Turkey mocking the Islamic prayer ritualshttp://youtu.be/BRZTtpmJJ1E

Nine Lawyers Accused of Terrorist Affiliations

By Ali Al-Bassam
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

ANKARA, Turkey  Yesterday, a court in Istanbul ordered the pre-trial detention of nine human rights lawyers.  Turkish authorities had charged them under anti-terror laws, claiming that the lawyers were affiliated with the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party (RPLP), a banned terrorist organization.  The nine were among twelve lawyers arrested, eleven during early morning raids conducted on January 18, and one arrested on January 20.

Human Rights Lawyers who advocated those accused under anti-terror laws were charged and detained under such laws themselves. (Photo Courtesy of Hurriyet Daily News)

The RPLP, a pro-Marxist organization, is responsible for many assassinations and bombings since the 1970’s.  They have not been as active in recent years.  Nearly 70 people accused by the Turkish government for being affiliated with the RPLP were also detained for questioning.  Among those targeted in the crackdown, aside from activist lawyers, were journalists and musicians.

Opposition parties expressed their outrage to the arrests, including the Contemporary Lawyers Association (ÇHD), in which all nine lawyers were members of.  “Police raids against lawyers at 4 a.m., their arrest and imprisonment are part of a wider clampdown on those who oppose the government,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, the senior Turkey researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Mahmut Tanal, the deputy to the main opposition party, Republican People’s Party (CHP), said that he believed the attorneys were detained because of the part they played in advocating for those accused in some of Turkey’s most controversial human rights abuse incidents.  “This is an attempt to put lawyers on trial for artificial links with terror organizations.  This is intimidation for all lawyers and citizens.  Accusations and questions addressed to the lawyers show that there’s no legal protection for citizens in Turkey,” said Tanal.

Hasip Kaplan, a lawmaker for the Peace and Democracy Party, said that charging human rights lawyers under anti-terror laws prevent them from diligently defending people accused under anti-terror laws, or speaking critically of the Turkish government.  “The first message given to lawyers is that lawyers defending the suspects of [alleged terrorist] organizations could be put on trial for links with the same organizations.  The second message is that their participation in public demonstrations could be considered evidence of being a member of an illegal organization…,” said Kaplan.  Kaplan said that the Turkish government’s incentive in charging people under anti-terror laws is to spread fear in society from participating in protests, and, for lawyers especially, to not defend anyone accused under such laws.  “Those lawyers were detained just because of their professional activities…,” said Kaplan.

Human Rights groups frequently criticize Turkey for charging activists and journalists under their broad anti-terrorism laws.  The charges are often accompanied by prolonged pretrial detention.

For further information, please see:

Committee to Protect Journalists — Several Journalists Jailed in new Turkish Crackdown — 22 January 2013

Human Rights Watch — Turkey: Nine Human Rights Lawyers Imprisoned — 22 January 2013

Turkish Weekly — More Lawyers Arrested in Crackdown on Leftists — 22 January 2013

Hurriyet Daily News — Nine Lawyers Arrested on Alleged Terrorism Links — 21 January 2013

Washington Post — Lawyers Arrested in Turkey for Alleged Links to Leftist Militants — 21 January 2013

 

Russia Pushes Forward Anti-Gay Law

By Alexandra Sandacz
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

MOSCOW, Russia – The Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church move forward with a bill that makes it illegal to provide minors with information that is defined as “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism.” The law will also ban holding public events that promote gay rights.

Russian police arrests a homosexual activist during a protest. (Photo Courtesy of DailyMail)

Russia’s new anti-gay bill is part of President Putin’s effort to promote traditional Russian values. The Kremlin and the Orthodox Church believe Western liberalism is corrupting the Russian youth.

Supporters of the bill deem minors unable to critically evaluate “homosexual propaganda”. The bill states, “This propaganda goes through the mass media and public events that propagate homosexuality as normal behavior.”

Pavel Samburov, founder of the Rainbow Association, which unites gay activists throughout Russia, describes the anti-gay bill as the Kremlin’s way to politically, religiously, and sexually control minorities. Furthermore, the bill is designed to divert public attention from growing discontent with President Putin’s rule.

Samburov’s gay rights group joined various anti-Putin marches all over Moscow. During one protest in front of the Russian parliament, Samburov received 30 hours of detention and a $16 dollar fine for kissing his boyfriend. However, if the Russian anti-gay bill becomes a law, such a public kiss could be defined as illegal “homosexual propaganda” and earn a fine of up to $16,000.

Denis Volkov, a sociologist, believes the anti-gay bill fits the “general logic” of a Putin’s government’s intent to limit various rights.

Although many oppose the new anti-gay bill, there are also many others who either view the bill indifferently or with open enthusiasm.

Levada Center, an independent pollster, found that almost two-thirds of Russians find homosexuality “morally unacceptable and worth condemning.” Nearly half are against gay rallies and same-sex marriage, and almost a third believe  homosexuality is the result of “a sickness or a psychological trauma.”

Various lawmakers blame the gay community for the severe decrease in Russia’s already low birth rates and state, “[gays] should be barred from government jobs, undergo forced medical treatment or be exiled.” A Russian executive in a government-run television network company said in a nationally televised show that the gay community should be prohibited from donating blood, sperm, and organs for transplants.

While the estimated number of gays and lesbians that live in Russia is unknown, gay individuals continue to face persistent widespread homophobia. Furthermore, only a few big cities, such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, have gay nightclubs and gyms. However, even in these accepting atmospheres, their safety is not guaranteed.

For further information, please see:

Daily Mail – Russia to outlaw ‘homosexual propaganda’ and ban public events that promote gay rights – 22 January 2013

RFE/RL – Protest Against Russian Antigay Bill Turns Violent – 22 January 2013

The Associated Press – Russia moves to enact anti-gay law nationwide – 21 January 2013

Global Post – Russia to move forward with anti-gay bill – 21 January 2013

Colombian Ceasefire Ends, Hostilities Escalate

By Brendan Oliver Bergh
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – After months of negotiations, and two months of a ceasefire, Colombia’s FARC Marxist resistance army has taken up arms again. While talks have not broken down between FARC leadership and the Colombian government, the ceasefire initiated by the FARC ended on January 20th after the Colombian government refused to lay down their arms.

Colombian negotiators address the media concerning the end to the FARC ceasefire and public concern of the negotiations.  (Photo Courtesy of the BBC)

Generally the Colombian government believed that FARC had complied with their ceasefire, President Juan Manuel Santos stated “The fact is that the number of operations carried out by the group decreased significantly, the number of police and soldiers killed or injured decreased,” showed compliance with the self-initiated cease-fire. While the military registered at least 52 violations of the truce, it was unclear if whether the guerrillas were attacking or defending themselves.

As the ceasefire ended Ivan Marquez, chief negotiator for FARC told the press “With heartache again we must admit the return of the military phase of the war, which nobody wants.” A short time later FARC rebels reignited hostilities. Within hours FARC rebels began assaulting municipalities in Tarra (near the Venezuelan border) with mortars and machine guns. The first assault left 3 soldiers wounded, while the second attack claimed the first FARC attributed death since the ceasefire ended.

Beyond assaults on military targets, Guerrillas have targeted and blew up two oil pipelines in Southern Colombia and attacked a coal train. These attacks are indicative of the FARCs attempts to disrupt the economic infrastructure of the Latin American country.

Some have criticized for not following suit and agreeing to a bi-lateral ceasefire, the government argued that historically the rebels would use the opportunity to rearm. A decade ago when the Colombian government entered into peace talks with the FARC rebels, they agreed to a bilateral military ceasefire. The rebels used this opportunity to rearm and launch a new offensive which took the Colombian military by surprise. This lead to a ten year offensive which has since displaced an additional 600,000 civilians and whittled the Rebels forces from over 16,000 fighters to under 9,000.

While the ceasefire has ended, peace negotiations continue. However until everything is agreed upon, nothing will be solved. Until the government of Colombia and FARC can agree on kidnapping compensation, the political nature of FARC, Redistribution of land , drug trafficking and end to the conflict, the negotiations will continue.

The two sides have been fighting since the formation of the FARC as a communist movement in 1964 in what is now Latin America’s longest-running insurgency.

For further information, please see:

Noticias Terra – FARC Attack Pipelines And Bomb Throwing Coal Train – 22 January 2013

Colombia Reports – FARC Kills 1st Soldier After Temporary Truce Comes To End – 21 January 2013

BBC – Colombia Farc Rebels End Unilateral Ceasefire – 20 January 2013

Yahoo – Colombia’s FARC Rebels End Ceasefire – 20 January 2013

Al Jazeera – Colombia Refuses To Extend Farc Ceasefire – 20 January 2013

BBC – Farc Ceasefire ‘To End’ As Peace Talks Resume In Cuba – 14 January 2013

Lithuania Freezes Bank Accounts and Joins Three Other European Countries in Launching Investigation into Magnitsky Case

Press Release
Hermitage Capital

21 January 2013 – The authorities of Lithuania have joined three other European countries in launching money laundering investigations into the funds stolen from the Russian treasury through a scheme exposed by late Hermitage Fund’s lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, according to Business Week magazine.

The Lithuanian authorities have also frozen funds in Lithuanian banks following the complaint filed by Hermitage Capital Management in July 2012, said Business Week in an article “A Russian Lawyer’s Death Triggers a Global Money Hunt” (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-17/a-russian-lawyers-death-triggers-a-global-money-hunt#p2).

The article quotes Donatas Puzinas, a Lithuanian prosecutor, on the investigation currently underway.

It’s quite complex analytical work,” Mr. Puzinas told Business Week.

The money generally is split up among several companies. Some of the money, after being transferred, goes back to the original account and then is transferred somewhere else,” said prosecutor Puzinas.

Now authorities in four European countries – Switzerland, Cyprus, Latvia, and Lithuania – are investigating the trail of $230 million stolen money from the Russian budget through a sophisticated scheme involving Russian officials and criminals which has been exposed by Sergei Magnitsky. After Mr Magnitsky testified against officials involved, he was himself arrested and killed in Russian police custody.

Through investigations carried out by Hermitage and a team of investigative journalists from the NGO, Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, $130 million of the stolen $230 million have been traced to eight foreign jurisdictions. That information formed the basis for criminal complaints filed in those eight countries.

For further information please contact:

Hermitage Capital
Phone:             +44 207 440 1777
Email:              info@lawandorderinrussia.org
Website:          http://lawandorderinrussia.org
Facebook:        http://on.fb.me/hvIuVI
Twitter:           @KatieFisher__
Livejournal:     //hermitagecap.livejournal.com/

Demonstrators display the dead bodies of fallen civilians in Peshawar to protest military barbarism

By Irving Feng
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Peshawar to protest the alleged extra-judicial killings carried out by Pakistani paramilitary forces.

Demonstrators display dead bodies in protest in Peshawar. (Photo Courtesy of The News International)

The Frontier Corps, a division of paramilitary forces in Pakistan, has been blamed for 18 deaths which resulted from overnight raids in the Khyber tribal area.  The paramilitary forces have been fighting Islamic militants in the area and were conducting a late night raid when the deaths occurred.

Human rights groups and local residents of the tribal area say that the operations carried out by the Pakistani military frequently cause civilian deaths.  The bodies of the dead were found by local residents discarded on the side of a road.

The protestors openly displayed the bodies of the dead in Peshawar in public areas and across the street from the governor’s house to mourn the deaths of family members and to demand vengeance for the wrongful actions of the paramilitary forces.

This strategy of displaying the wrapped dead bodies is very rare and used sparsely by protestors to make a point to local governments.  Anti-military slogans were also shouted at army officials and other government officials.  One of the signs displayed by the protestors read, “We are also Pakistanis.  Don’t kill us.”

The protestors called for a stop to the military operations in the Khyber tribal area of Pakistan where frequent military exercises and raids of this type are carried out.  The protestors also called for the government to compensate the victims and their families and to end a five year old curfew still enforced in the area.

Pakistani police in the city of Peshawar responded to the protestors with barrages of tear gas.  The police forces, desperate to keep peace in the volatile city, also used water cannons to disperse the scores of protestors outside of the governor’s house.

Protestors are at a loss as to where to seek justice for these alleged extra-judicial killings.  The locals believe that there is nowhere to turn for help to stymie the growth of barbarism perpetrated by the Frontier Corps and their fellow citizens continue to be murdered in cold blood.

The leaders of the paramilitary forces, however, have privately denied responsibility for the deaths of the 18 civilians that were dumped on the side of the road and used in the demonstrations by protestors in Peshawar.  The paramilitary forces are simply doing their jobs to rid Pakistan of the Islamic militants.

Locals vehemently contend that the tribal people in the Khyber region are being persecuted by both the paramilitary forces and the militants.  The civilians are essentially caught in the middle of the two conflicting groups.  Amnesty International accused Pakistani officials last month of failing to remedy the thousands of human rights abuses prevalent in this area.

For further information, please see:

Al Jazeera – Pakistan protests move to Peshawar – 17 January 21 2013

BBC – Pakistan police use tear gas to disperse ‘dead bodies’ protest – 17 January 2013

Global Times – People protest against overnight raid in Pakistan – 17 January 2013

The News International – Protest demonstration ends in Peshawar – 17 January 2013

The Star – Pakistanis pile bodies outside governor’s house in protest – 16 January 2013