Chinese Grinning Official on Trial For Corruption

By Kevin M. Mathewson
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

BEIJING, China — Yang Dacai, a Chinese official who sparked a national outcry after images showed him grinning while on the scene of a fatal bus crash, has pled guilty to corruption charges.

Mr Dacai said he used his legal income to buy the many watches he owned.

In Xi’an Intermediate People’s Court, Yang admitted to taking 250,000 yuan (40,518 U.S. dollars) in bribes.

Dacai is the latest Chinese government official to be ousted from his position by online whistleblowers.

His trial comes during growing public anger over the allegations of corruption in the Chinese government. A majority of the protests occur online with drives against corruption, and internet users increasingly pursuing those perceived as having done wrong through online exposure.

Dacai has been Nicknamed “Brother Watch” by internet users after images of him wearing various luxury watches circulated online. Dacai has been seen wearing 11 luxury watches; five of which combined are worth more than 300,000 Yuan (48,000 U.S. dollars).

Chinese citizens on the internet have argued that Dacai should not have been able to afford the watches on his salary as a civil servant.

However, Dacai has claimed that he “used legal income” to buy a number of watches, saying that the most expensive one he owned was worth 35,000 Yuan (5,500 U.S. dollars).

After an initial investigation, Dacai was removed as the head and chief of the provincial work safety administration and was dismissed from his post as a member of the Shaanxi Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Community Party of China (CPC).

Yu Guoming, deputy dead of journalism at Renmin University of China, said the positive response and timely punishment showed the authorities commitment to anti-graft campaigning and boosted the Chinese enthusiasm to root out corruption clues.

Last December, Yuan Zhanting, the mayor of Lanzhou, the capital of China’s relatively poor northwestern province of Gansu, was ridiculed after pictures surfaced of him wearing luxury watches. One of them, an Omega, worth 150,000 Yuan (24,000 U.S. dollars).

In recent weeks, there have been signs that this internet campaign has worried authorities, resulting in a number of journalists being arrested for “rumor-mongering”, one being a high-profile blogger.

For further information, please see:

BBC News – Trial for China’s ‘smiling official’ Yang Dacai – 30 August 2013

Yahoo! News – China’s ‘smiling face’ official on trial for graft – 30 August 2013

Channel News Asia – China’s ‘smiling face’ official on trial for graft – 30 August 2013

Global Post – China’s ‘smiling face’ official on trial for graft – 31 August 2013

As Violence in Central African Republic Escalates Refugees Flee to Airport

By Erica Smith
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

BANGUI, Central African Republic – More than 5,000 people, mostly women and children, have sought refuge in the main airport of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), after increased violence in the neighborhoods of  Boy-Rabe and Boeing. The refugees have blocked runways and flights have been diverted to neighboring Cameroon.

Refugees standing by a French armored personnel carrier at the airport in Bangui. (Photo Courtesy of Voice of America)

The CAR has become increasingly unstable since Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in March. The new president and former rebel leader Michel Djotodia has so far been unable to stop rebel fighters from killing and looting citizens.

                The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees has issued a statement calling for Djotodia and the government to restore order in the country. “We urge the authorities to use all means to stop attacks against civilians, restore security and protect the population,” said Liz Ahua, the deputy director of UNHCR’s Bureau for Africa.

                The UNHCR has reported that over the past ten days people have been subjected to arbitrary arrests, detention, torture, extortion, armed robberies, physical violence, restriction of movement, and looting. These actions have killed 10 so far in addition to numerous people killed outside the capital city by marauding rebel fighters.

                Many of the refugees inhabiting the airport are there not only for safety provided by peacekeepers but to protest the situation in their country. Residents of Boy-Rabe and Boeing say they have stayed at the airport to protest the lawlessness that has run rampant since March. “Our presence here at the airport has one goal – to get the world’s attention. Because we are fed up with these Seleka,” said Antoine Gazama told Aljazeera.

The African Union is deploying a 3,600 person peacekeeping mission in the CAR, incorporating a force of 1,100 soldiers already present in the country. French President Francois Hollande has called on the UN Security Council and the African Union to work to stabilize the CAR, warning that the country is at risk of completely collapsing. The CAR was at one point a French colony.

There are already more than 206,000 internally displaced persons in the CAR before the recent unrest and some 63,000 people have fled to neighboring countries. The fighting has eroded the humanitarian situation in the CAR, even the most basic services have been interrupted, affecting the entire population of 4.6 million people, half of whom are children.

For further information, please see:

Thomson Reuters — Former rebels sow terror in Central Africa Republic – residents — 30 August 2013

Voice of America — UN Agencies See Security Deterioration in CAR — 30 August 2013

Aljazeera — CAR protesters occupy Bangui airport — 29 August 2013

All Africa — Central African Republic: Thousands Take Refuge At Airport — 29 August 2013

All Africa — Central African Republic: Violence Displacing Bangui Residents — 29 August 2013

All Africa — Central African Republic: Amid Renewed Fighting UN Refugee Urges CAR to Protect Civilians — 29 August 2013

Despite Rescue, Child Soldiers Still Being Recruited in DRC

By: Dan Krupinsky
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo – Numerous armed groups in North Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are still using over 2,000 children as soldiers, while the United Nations Children’s Fund continues its efforts to remove them from the battlefields and return them to their homes.

Soldiers of the U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo are pictured near Goma.

UNICEF’s demobilization and reintegration program had about 1,700 child soldiers between January and July. After that period, UNICEF condemned the disturbing increase of child victims that they have seen and have been reported for the duration of the conflict in North Kivu, which broke out in May of 2012 between Congolese armed forced and M23 rebels.

The use of child soldiers is prevalent in various regions across the entire nation. The UN mission in Africa recently announced the rescue of numerous child soldiers from the Mayi Mayi Bakata Katanga armed group in the southeastern Katanga province.

While some of the children were as old as 17, others were as young as 8.  The 82 children were all reportedly recruited within the past 6 months.

Forty of the rescued children were reunited with their families immediately. The rest are currently receiving interim care while attempts to get them back with their families are made.

“We are extremely concerned by continued reports of active recruitment by Mayi Mayi Bakata Katanga and other armed groups in eastern DRC,” said United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) chief Martin Kobler in a statement. “Children face unacceptable risks when they are recruited for military purposes. The recruitment of children, particularly those under 15 years of age, could constitute a war crime and those responsible must be held to account.”

According to the statement from MONUSCO, 163 children, including 22 girls, have been rescued from Mavi Mavi Bakata Katanga alone, since the beginning of the year. The rescues have been a combination of MONUSCO and child protection workers.

A MONUSCO peacekeeping force of nearly 20,000 troops is currently deployed in the DRC.

In late October of 2012, the government of the DRC and the United Nations signed an Action Plan, officially committing to end the recruitment and use of children by Congolese armed forced and security services.

The eastern part of the country, rich in minerals, has long been a site of violence and political and ethnic conflict. According to the United Nations, there are about 2.6 million internally displaced people and 6.4 million people overall in need of food an emergency aid.


For further information, please see:

All Africa – Congo-Kinshasa: DR Congo Armed Groups Increase Child Recruitment – 29 August 2013

Al-Jazeera – 82 child soldiers rescued in DR Congo: UN – 17 August 2013

CNN – 82 child soldiers saved in Democratic Republic of Congo – 17 August 2013

Child Soldiers International – Democratic Republic of Congo




U.S. Envoy Travels to North Korea in Attempt to Free Jailed American

By Brandon Cottrell 
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

WASHINGTON, D.C., United States – Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, is expected to arrive in North Korea today and will ask for release of Kenneth Bae.  King’s trip is the first public trip to North Korea by a U.S. official in over two years.

Kenneth Bae. (Photo Courtesy CNN)

The North Koreans imprisoned Bae, a 45-year-old American citizen and Christian missionary, last November for planning an operation against Kim Jong Un’s regime through religious activities.  Specifically, the North Koreans charged Bae with setting up bases in China for the purpose of toppling Kim’s regime, encouraging North Korean citizens to bring down the government and spreading false propaganda.  The North Korean government also claims that Bae used his tourism business to form groups that could overthrow the government.

North Korea does allow religious freedom, but such religious freedom yields to “total loyalty to the Kim dynasty,” which has ruled for three generations.  Bae’s family believes that it was not Bae’s religious beliefs that got him in trouble, rather his sympathy toward North Korean orphans.

Online posts, however, which have since been taken down, showed Bae describing himself and a party of people that he took to North Korea as “warriors for Christ.”  Bae had also talked of bringing three hundred people into North Korea to emulate the biblical destruction of the walls of Jericho.

Bae was sentenced in May to fifteen years of hard labor.  Although he has only served ten months of his sentence, Bae has already spent more time in North Korean custody than any other American.  Additionally, Bae’s health has deteriorated and he is spending time in a hospital.  It is reported that he is suffering from leg and back pain.  Bae has also lost more than fifty pounds, has kidney stones, dizziness and loss of vision.  Prior to his arrest, Bae suffered from diabetes and an enlarged heart.

The White House hopes that the government of North Korea will “grant special clemency to Mr. Bae immediately and allow him to return home with Ambassador [Robert] King.”  While King’s visit may improve political relations with North Korea, the U.S. State Department stated that the immediate release of Bae is the sole purpose of the envoy.

Since 2009, six Americans have been detained by North Korea.  Former U.S. Presidents Clinton and Carter have both successfully negotiated the release of American detainees.  Hopes are also high that Bae will be released, as several years ago King led a U.S. delegation, which resulted in the release of an American who had been detained by the North Koreans for several months.

UPDATE: As of 11:20am EDT North Korea has rescinded its invitation for the U.S. envoy to visit North Korea and try to secure the release of Bae.


For further information, please see:

BBC – US Envoy due in North Korea to Seek Prisoner Release – 30 August 2013

CNN – N. Korea Rescinds Invitation to U.S. Envoy over American Prisoner – 30 August 2013

CNN – U.S. Envoy set to Travel to North Korea to try to free Kenneth Bae – 30 August 2013

Times of India – US Envoy on Mission to Free American in North Korea – 30 August 2013

MSNBC – US Envoy Seeks Prisoner Release in North Korea – 29 August 2013

Guatemalan Journalist Shot to Death

By Brandon Cottrell 
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America 

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Carlos Alberto Orellana Chavez, 62, was found Monday shot to death.  The shooting came hours after Chavez, a broadcast journalist, was reported missing.  With his passing, a total of four journalists have been murdered in Guatemala this year.

Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina. (Photo Courtesy BBC)

Chavez’s shooting comes one week after Freddy Rodas, a regional correspondent, was seriously wounded in a shooting.  Guatemalan police do, however, have a suspect in custody regarding Rodas’ shooting.  Additionally, last week gunmen shot at the home of Vernick Gudiel, an investigator for a Guatemala City daily newspaper.  No injuries were reported in that shooting, however.

Carlos Lauria, coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, has called for the authorities to “thoroughly investigate the murder of Carlos Alberto Orellana Chávez and the shooting of Fredy Rodas, determine the motives, and bring those responsible to justice.”

As authorities continue to investigate the murder, Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez rejected the notion that journalists as a group are under attack.  Lopez believes that the shootings are based on personal motives, indicating that Chavez may have been killed during a carjacking.

Maria Martin, director of the Guatemalan journalism training organization Gracias Vida, rejects Lopez’s notion and offers two additional explanations.  First, Martin states “organized crime and the drug cartels are gaining more power . . . and that makes it more dangerous for rural and regional journalists.”  Additionally, she states, “you have Guatemala between Honduras and Mexico, where the killing of journalists has become an open sport . . . it was just a matter of time before the bad guys would take a lesson from both of these countries, where journalists are killed and no one is called into account.”

President Otto Pérez Molina, meanwhile, announced the creation of a task force that will investigate the murders of all four journalists that have been murdered this year.  Molina said that, “we put together a special team to run the investigation so we can make sure this does not go unpunished.”  He also announced a new program that is aimed at protecting journalists who work in Guatemala.


For further information, please see:

The Guardian – Guatemalan Journalist Shot to Death – 22 August 2013

Info Sur Hoy – Guatemala Task Force to Probe Journalist Deaths – 21 August 2013

Journalism in the Americas – Regional Reporter in Guatemala Gunned Down, the Fourth This Year – 21 August 2013

One India – Journalist Slain in Guatemala, one Suspect Held – 21 August 2013


Saudi Arabia Bans Domestic Abuse

By Thomas Murphy
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – On Wednesday, Saudia Arabia’s cabinet passed the “Protection from Abuse” law. The purpose of the law is to protect women, children, and workers from domestic abuse. The law is the country’s first of its kind and has been celebrated by human rights activists.

A poster utilized in the King Khalid Foundation’s campaign against domestic abuse. (Photo Courtesy of the King Khalid Foundation)

The law explicitly lays out that physical and sexual abuse both at home and in the workplace are illegal. Anyone found guilty of abuse under the new law may face up to a year in prison and $13,300 in fines.

“This is a good law that serves major segments of the society in the kingdom, including women, children, domestic workers and non-domestic workers,” said Khaled al-Fakher, secretary-general of the National Society for Human Rights, a government-licensed body.

“We are always in favour of an explicit law that does not need interpretations or personal judgment,” said Fakher, whose organisation helped draft the law.

The passage of the “Protection from Abuse” law comes after years of international pressure from other countries, human rights groups, and the United Nations. Local organizations such as the King Khalid Foundation were a driving force behind the law’s passage as well.

In April, the King Khalid Foundation began an anti-abuse campaign that encouraged women report cases of domestic abuse. The campaign’s calling card became an advertisement (shown above) that featured a veiled woman with a bruised eye and the slogan “Some things can’t be covered. Fighting women’s abuse together.” The advertisement quickly gained notoriety for its portrayal of a typically taboo topic.

While the new law is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, many are waiting to see how it is implemented.

Rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair said the law gives women some independence: “Women were required to bring in a male relative if they showed up at a police station to file a complaint,” he said. This will not now be necessary.

However, women are still required to receive permission from a male guardian to carry out business, apply for jobs, or travel out of the country. Further, women are often accompanied by a male guardian whenever they leave the home, which may inhibit a victim’s ability to report abuse.

For further information, please see:

Al Jazeera – Saudi Arabia outlaws domestic violence –  30 August 2013

Guardian – Saudi Arabia passes law against domestic violence  – 29 August 2013

Huffington Post – Saudi Arabia Passes Domestic Abuse Ban For First Time – 29 August 2013

BBC – Saudi Arabia cabinet approves domestic abuse ban – 28 August 2013

Iran Passes Bill to Sue U.S. for Involvement in 1953 Military Coup

Darrin Simmons
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

TEHRAN, Iran—Preliminary approval has been given by the Iranian Parliament to a bill that will allow the Government to sue the United States for its connection to the 1953 coup overthrowing Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister, Minister Mossadegh.

Iranian Parliament meets to discuss to possibility of suing the United States (photo courtesy of Global Post)

The coup, which reinstated exiled Shah Mohammed Reza—later again deposed during the 1979 Iranian Revolution—was code-named Operation TPAJAX.  Information regarding the coup recently surfaced from newly declassified documents offering more information about the CIA’s involvement of the overthrow of Mossadegh.

The document, titled “The Battle for Iran”, describes how the military coup was carried out under the direction of the CIA as an act of U.S. foreign policy at the highest levels of government.  Lawmakers claim the documents prove a history of U.S. bad intentions towards Iran.

Lawmaker Mahdi Mousavinejad stated, “America’s oppressive behavior shows that the Iranian nation has to stand up and pursue its trampled rights,” in support of Iran taking legal action to ensure U.S. responsibility for the coup.

However, other lawmakers have taken different views about parliament’s passing of the bill.  Mohammad Mahdi Rahbari opposed the bill saying, “Pursuing this bill has no benefits for our country.  It will waste the parliament’s time.”

Iran’s Parliament consists of 290 seats, and of the 196 parliamentarians who were in attendance, 167 voted in favor of the bill while only five opposed it.  The bill establishes a committee to study the process of bringing a lawsuit, and provides for six months to determine if legal action is appropriate.

The possibility of a lawsuit comes amidst ever growing tensions between Iran and the U.S.  In the 1980s, when Shah Reza was hospitalized in the U.S. after being deposed, relations began to crumble.  The US embassy hostage crisis, where pro-revolution partisans held the embassy severed more diplomatic ties.

Iran’s ties to nuclear weapons has also hindered relations, with the West claiming that Iran aims to further develop nuclear weapons to which Iran denies, claiming their nuclear programs are used for peaceful purposes.

At this point, it is unclear whether the lawsuit will ever come to fruition or have any sort of bearing in the international courts.  However, it could open the door for Iran to be susceptible to U.S. lawsuits claiming damages due to the Iranian hostage crisis.

For more information, please see the following: 

Aljazeera-Iran moves to sue US over 1953 coup-August 28, 2013

Business Line-Iran okays bill to sue US over 1953 coup-August 28, 2013

Global Post-Iran debates suing US over Mossadegh coup in 1953-August 28, 2013

Washington Post-Iran’s parliament approves bill to sue US over 1953 coup involvement-August 28, 2013

SNHR: The Second Largest Chemical Weapons Attack on Civilians in the Modern Era

(Documenting the chemical weapons massacre in the Damascus countryside 21/8/2013 )

531 victims have been documented; including 511 civilians, 117 children, 108 women and, in addition, 9000 injuries

Prepared by Syrian Network for Human Rights.

Period Covered: 21/8/2013

Date of issue: 26/8/2013


In the last report issued by SNHR about using chemical weapon by Syrian regime in 5/8/2013, we documented 28 attacks that led to 83 victims, and almost 1271 injuries.

Syrian Network for Human Rights had sent the report to a large number of human rights, media, and political bodies around the world, including chemical weapons inquiry mission led by Dr. Ake Sellstrom, Please check the following link:

Syrian regime owns almost 700 tons of chemical weapons, the quantity is able to manufacture almost 2500 artillery shell and 100 chemical warheads for Scud missiles , which is enough to annihilate the population of Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Aleppo.

at least 300 persons work in Syrian chemical weapon development program, mostly from the Alwite sect, and they surrounded with secrecy and continuous monitoring,  and no one know about them even army leaders or ministries.

Wednesday 21/8/2013, almost 3 am, Syrian Government Forces shelled Ghouta Sharqiya then at 5 am shelled Ghouta Gharbia, according to SNHR’s team with dissidents experts form Syrian regime and in preliminary estimates that Syrian regime had launched almost 10 missiles, with capacity of almost 20 liter for each, that’s mean total is 200 liter, and considered the second largest chemical attack after Sadam Husain’s regime used chemical attack in Iraq in 16-17/3/1988, which led to the death of thousands of people and were disgrace of humanity, the tragedy is repeated now again against the Syrian people.

SNHR documented the killing of 531 Syrian citizens by name, video, and photo, as a result of targeting Western and Easter Ghouta:

Civilians: 511 victims, including 117 children and 108 women:

Among the victims, we documented 33 citizens but we didn’t get their names, because the residents didn’t recognize them, but we have photos of them.

FSA Fighters: 20 victims

Although a number of injuries have exceeded 9000 citizens, who were transferred to medical points, as we were told by many doctors from different medical points, and according to what SNHR’s member documented in Damascus and countryside, or what we’ve got from photos and videos for injured citizens (via photographers and trusted activists dealing with them from long time ago and have good credibility), the network checked them (please check the report details) :

The massive rise in victims’ number confirms that government forces used weapons of mass destruction and not just conventional weapons, and through the photos and videos taken by Syrian network for human rights’ team members in Damascus and countryside and other photos and videos sent to us via e-mail by Photographers and activists communicate with the network.  It is clear to us that the neighborhoods that were shelled are residential neighborhoods, there are some shops in these neighborhoods, as is the nature of cities and towns in Syria, and did not note the presence of any military or even chemical facility to be a source of leakage.

There is also another cause of the high numbers of casualties, the siege imposed on Eastern and Western Ghouta by the Syrian government for more than 14 months and prevent the introduction of gasoline and fuel, where residents couldn’t get access to medical points by cars or motorbikes, because they were out of gasoline, so they had to walk which led to the death of a large number of them due to delay the treatment.

The siege has created a heavy lack of medicines and equipment to treat the injured and causing the death of a large number of them also.

Report Details:

On Wednesday 21/8/2013, at 2:45 am (according to Damascus), government forces were shelled with a rocket launcher the cities of Zamalka and Ain Tarma, and buffer zone between Zamalka and Hiza town.

First: we recorded the fall of 4 missiles carrying poisonous chemical materials, in the city of Zamalka, and specifically on:

1- Almazraa area

2- The area behind Najeb oil station

3- The area of Zamalka female school for basic education


Second: A missile fell on the communication street area between Zamalka and Haza.

Third: Ain Tarma city, shelled at least by three missiles:

 1- Ain Tarma tanks area

2- Altabal area of Ain Tarma

3- Alzainiah neighborhood

Also shelled Aloazameah city in Western Ghouta at 5:15 am by a missile carrying poisonous chemical materials.

Map showing the area shelled in Ain Tarma with the coordinates of that point according to Syrian network for human rights’ member in Damascus countryside:,36.346024&num=1&t=h&z=17

Map showing the area shelled in Zamalka with the coordinates of these points according to Syrian network for human rights’ member in Damascus countryside:,36.354511&num=1&t=h&z=17,36.351979&num=1&t=h&z=17,36.357279&num=1&t=h&z=17,36.35656&num=1&t=h&z=17,36.36098&num=1&t=h&z=17,36.361259&num=1&t=h&z=17

Syrian network for human rights, which is considered one of the most important sources of documenting victims of the armed conflict in Syria for the United Nations, and we have an agreement with the Organization of the United Nations which documented victims of conflict around the world (HRDAG) and certificate of appreciation, where we rely on strict standards on authentication via network’s members deployed in various Syrian governorates, and by taking the accounts from two sources do not know each other, and validate videos and photos by technical experts, in addition to other criteria mentioned in details on the Website.

According to SNHR’s criteria, we have documented the killing of 531 Syrian citizens but our estimation refer to the murder of at least 800 people because there are many places that we couldn’t get to.  We are still receiving names and images successively.  Many victims died without documenting.

Documenting 531 names, photos and videos are very important and proves that the actual numbers are much more.  This number of course does not include missing people whose fate has not been determined and estimated within the dozens.

Please see the following link for a complete list of names with the pictures and video for each name:

Among the 511 civilian victims (the majority are  civilians, 97%), among the civilians:

117 children with proportion of 22%

108 women with proportion of 21%

(the proportion of children and women victims is 43%, which is very high and indicate the targeting of purely civilian areas).

23 Palestinian (11 children and 3 women).

The following link include names, photo and way of death:

Only 20 FSA fighters were killed during their existence and deploying in this area.  Almost 4% of the total number of victims:

following link include FSA’s looses (names, photo and way of death):

We have to indicate that the Government forces had followed the missile shelling with chemical weapons, mortars, and heavy artillery, which prevented dozens of civilians from going out to rooftops and led to their deaths from inside their homes after inhaling poisonous gases.

Accounts of eight doctor’s to SNHR matched the symptoms that appeared on hundred of patients and treat it: shortness of breath, suffocation, muscular convulsions, oral foam , increasing body secretions leaked from eyes and nose, eye redness, blurred vision, hear and eyelash stiffness, these are the symptoms resulting from nerve-gas poisoning.

SNHR estimates the injuries between 9000 and 10000 injuries, now running out of medicines that can treat chemical weapons injuries such as hydrocortisone , dexamethasone, Atropine and Epinephrine.

According to  inquiries and investigations conducted by SNHR about the source of shelling missiles, it shows that it had been launched from areas under the control of Syrian regime, and the photos shows it is clear that theses missiles have relatively small engine, that mean it had launched from near places, not as the photo documented by the network of using long-range ballistic missiles with big engines.

Media activist Abo Omar filmed the video that shows missiles launching, and you can communicate with him via Skype account:” bees1981″

He told us the following:

“One of the places that I expect that it may be the place of launching short-range missiles, that shelled the Eastern Ghouta are Qaboon and specifically of” special units “between the Jobar, Qaboon and Barzah, it is an area where the regime shelled surface to surface missiles, mortars , rocket launchers and others.”

“On the day of the chemical hit, I was in a high place in the Eastern Ghout.”

This is the location coordinates, and there is a video showing launching missiles of limited push, but the fire from which it came out doesn’t look like the located missiles made by Free Syrian Army

We know our missiles and the color of fire that came from them,


the video that I’ve filmed: “

Some survivors’ accounts:

Date: 26/8/2013.

Place: Zamalka of Damascus countryside.

Clearly shows the effects of one of the chemical missile that fell on Almazraa neighborhood, and some dead bird that killed cause of shelling, in addition to eyewitnesses survived from the massacre confirms that they lifted entire families killed in their houses, and aided hundreds of injured , as they warn that there might be many victims in houses that they were not able to enter yet.


Place: Zamalka of Damascus countryside.

Date: 26/8/2013.

Place: Zamalka of Damascus countryside.

Accounts of eyewitnesses who survived the massacre in the Almazra neighborhood talked about moments of shelling and symptoms that appeared on them and the injured, they also confirmed the death of entire families from their relatives and neighbors “


Place: Zamalka of Damascus countryside.

Date: 26/8/2013.

Place: Zamalka of Damascus countryside.

Accounts for eyewitnesses survived from the massacre in Almazra neighborhood describes the most prominent of what happened during shelling , they also confirms the death of entire families from their relatives and neighbors, the neighborhood looks empty of people cause the kill of hundreds and flee out the rest “


Place: Zamalka of Damascus countryside.

Description: Mrs. Samar Almasri and her daughter in the field hospital after exposed to chemical weapon in Zamalka neighborhood, explained what happened with them , as the female child had nervous convulsion with amnesia, where she couldn’t recognize her mother.


Place: Arbin of Damascus countryside.

Description: female child suffered from big nervous shock andideophrenia when she woke up from coma in the field hospital, the doctor explained her condition cause she was infected with poisonous gases.


Date: 21/3/2013

Place: Jobar of Damascus countryside

Description: one of the field doctors states important information about the large number of the massacre victims, and the inability of hospital in eastern Ghouta to provide the necessary medical aids, cause of large shortcut of staff, medical equipment and medicines.


Date 21/3/2013

Place: medical point in Arbin of Damascus countryside

Description: one of the medical team talk about hundreds of victims and injuries ( including entire families ) where medical team and residents in Arbin evacuated them from their homes to the medical point in Arbin, must be notify that there were more than 150 victims in one of the field hospital in addition to tens of victims shows in the following video:


Date: 21/8/2013

Place : medical point in Darea of Damascus countryside

Description : survivor in Moazameat AlSahm explain the affects he suffered from with the injuries when they shelled with poisonous gases, while they were praying in the mosque, among the symptoms ( vomiting, fainting, pain in eyes and throat ) many of them killed.


Date: 21/8/2013

Place : Moazameat Al-Sham of Damascus countryside

Description : Doctor in the field hospital explain the symptoms shows on victims shelled with poisonous gases, among the symptoms (shortness of breath, pinpoint pupil, blue face, oral foam, suffocation, vomiting, fainting) in addition to injury many of medical crew, and more than 500 injuries and dozens of victims.


Date: 21/8/2013

Place : Moazameat Al-Sham of Damascus countryside

Description : a Doctor in the field hospital in Darea near to Mozamaeat Al-Sham explain the symptoms shows on victims came from Moazameat Al-Sham, as explain the way of taking samples from injured to analyze the type of the gas used in shelling.


Chemical weapons killed different types of animals, We have observed through photos took by SNHR’s member in Damascus countryside and some by activities communicating with the network, that the apparent symptoms on the animals like foaming at the mouth and the outer shape of the body completely rigidity as appeared in photos, these and other are symptoms resulting from inhaling poisonous gases.


Appendix and attached files includes:

First: photos and videos of the victims in all areas that have been shelled

Second: photos and videos of the injuries in all areas that have been shelled

Third: photos and videos of different kinds of animals that have killed cause of shelling

Fourth: photos of missiles that used in shelling

Fifth: video and photos of the mass destruction caused


First: photos and videos of the victims in all areas that have been shelled

Date 21/8/2013 : Eastern and Western Ghouta towns that have been shelled and medical points that received injuries and victims:


Hamoria :

Arbin :


Kafar Batna :

Moazamiat Al-Sham:

Photos of child victims :

Photos of victims’ massacre :

Second: photos and videos of the injuries in all areas that have been shelled:


Place: Jobar of Damascus countryside

Description: videos show dozens of injured mostly from children, and health situation deterioration in medical points cause of siege imposed on Easter Ghouta towns by government forces and lack of medicals crews and equipment to aid them


Place: Zamalka of Damascus countryside

Description: videos show dozens of injured mostly from children, and health situation deterioration in medical points cause of siege imposed on Easter Ghouta towns by government forces and lack of medicals crews and equipment to aid them


Date: 21/8/2013

Place: Ain Tarma of Damascus countryside

Description: videos show dozens of injured mostly from children, and health situation deterioration in medical points cause of siege imposed on Easter Ghouta towns by government forces and lack of medicals crews and equipment to aid them

Date: 21/8/2013

Place: Ain Tarma of Damascus countryside

Description: videos show dozens of injured mostly from children, and health situation deterioration in medical points cause of siege imposed on Easter Ghouta towns by government forces and lack of medicals crews and equipment to aid them


Place: Arbin of Damascus countryside

Description: videos show dozens of injured mostly from children, and health situation deterioration in medical points cause of siege imposed on Easter Ghouta towns by government forces and lack of medicals crews and equipment to aid them

Date: 21/8/2013

Place: Kafar Batna of Damascus countryside

Description: videos show dozens of injured mostly from children, and health situation deterioration in medical points cause of siege imposed on Easter Ghouta towns by government forces and lack of medicals crews and equipment to aid them


Place: Saqba of Damascus countryside

Description: videos show dozens of injured mostly from children, and health situation deterioration in medical points cause of siege imposed on Easter Ghouta towns by government forces and lack of medicals crews and equipment to aid them

Date: 21/8/2013

Place: Doms of Damascus countryside

Description: videos show dozens of injured mostly from children, and health situation deterioration in medical points cause of siege imposed on Easter Ghouta towns by government forces and lack of medicals crews and equipment to aid them

Photos of child injuries :

Photos of injuries:

Third:  photos and videos of different kinds of animals that have killed cause of shelling

Date: 21/8/2013

Place: Moazameat Al-Sham of Damascus countryside

Description: group of birds died affected by chemical weapons’ shell in an area.

Date: 22/8/2013

Place: Zamalka of Damascus countryside

Description: remnant of a chemical weapon missile in the region and a dead bird cause of chemical shelling, the video shows changing the color of the soil

Date: 22/8/2013

Place: Zamalka of Damascus countryside

Description: the death of sheep flock in a residential district cause of  chemical weapons shelling and the account of a citizen whose relatives killed in the massacre


The death of sheep flock in a stockyard in Ghouta Sharqyia of Damascus countryside, cause of  chemical weapons shelling in 21/8/2013

The death of bird in Arbin of Damascus countryside cause of chemical weapon:

The death of sheep flock in a resident nieghborhood in Zamalka of Damascus countryside, cause of  chemical weapons shelling in 21/8/2013

Large number of Death chicken in Haza of Damascus countryside cause of chemical weapons shelling 21/8/2013:

Death sheep in Haza of Damascus countryside cause of chemical weapons shelling 21/8/2013:

Fourth: photos of missiles that used in shelling


Note the following: in this photo only the missile’s warhead explode, and that chemical materials exists only in the warhead, which contain small explosive that explode the missile’s warhead without destroying the rest of missile, in addition that there is no real distinctive mark as should be in the missiles, or it has been removed, missile manufacturing indicates that its traditional and not as in the case of states experts of  missiles industry, but there is a good expert in manufacture missiles, chemical containers and explosive, and subjected to previous experiences to verify the effectiveness and extend, and that appears cause of the large number of victims.

Date and Place: 22/8/2013, Haza of Damascus countryside

group of photos of a missile with loaded with chemical warhead fell behind building, there were 35 citizens there all killed

Photo shows missile warhead loaded with chemical weapon and shelled Jobar neighborhood of Damascus, and serial number on

Video shows remains of  missile loaded with chemical warhead fall in Zamalka of Damascus countryside in 21/8/2013.

Fifth: video and photos of the mass destruction in Eastern and Western Damascus countryside caused by that shelling:

More than odd missiles have been monitored, watched for the first time the night of shelling Eastern Ghouta towns with chemical weapons in 21/3/2013


Continuing artillery and missiles shelling on Eastern Ghouta towns right after shelling with chemical weapons in 21/8/2013:

Continuing shelling on Moazamiat Alsham after shelling with chemical weapons in 21/8/2013:

Relative conventions and rules:


For the Prohibition of the Use of Asphyxiating, Poisoner Other Gases, and Bacteriological Methods of Warfare; 1925 agreement banning the use of chemical and biological weapons in war.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)

Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction

(Signed at London, Moscow and Washington on 10 April 1972.
Entered into force on 26 March 1975)

Chemical Weapons Convention

Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction

 (Signed at Paris and New York on January 13, 1993, Effective, April 29,1997)

The Syrian Government( pre-Baath rule ) has ratified the Protocol of 1925 , but Syria is not among the 189 countries signatory to the 1993 Convention on the prohibition of the development, production, Stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction, using chemical weapons prohibited under international humanitarian law, even in armed conflict between armies either use against civilians it violates all standards set by the chemical weapons Convention.


Customary IHL:

Rule 74. The use of chemical weapons is prohibited.

Rule 76. The use of herbicides as a method of warfare is prohibited if they:

a) are of a nature to be prohibited chemical weapons;
b) are of a nature to be prohibited biological weapons;
c) are aimed at vegetation that is not a military objective;
d) would cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which may be expected to be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated; or
e) would cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment.

Legal conclusions:

1- Report concluded thorough research, checking with experts, doctors, accounts of survivors and dozens of eyewitnesses that Government forces with no doubt committed crime in shelling residential neighborhoods with chemical weapons, this is the 29th time that Syrian Government use chemical weapons in five provinces, which indicate the systematic methodology and widespread of those attacks and to the amount to crimes against humanity

2- Government forces violated rules 74-76 of Customary IHL, and considered that committed war crime.

Responsibility and Reparation

Rule 149. A State is responsible for violations of international humanitarian law attributable to it, including:

(a) violations committed by its organs, including its armed forces;
(b) violations committed by persons or entities it empowered to exercise elements of governmental authority;
(c) violations committed by persons or groups acting in fact on its instructions, or under its direction or control; and
(d) violations committed by private persons or groups which it acknowledges and adopts as its own conduct.

Rule 150. A State responsible for violations of international humanitarian law is required to make full reparation for the loss or injury caused



Human right council:

1-     Serious attention of the case of using poisonous gases

2-     Call upon the security council and relevant organizations to take upon their responsibility towards this extremely serious matter

3-     Exert pressure on the Syrian government to stop using such type of internationally prohibited weapons

4-     Hold the allies and supporter of the Syrian government : Russia , Iran , China , moral and physical responsibility towards excesses of Syrian Regime in this regard

5-     Demands international weapons and institutions concerning mass destruction weapons to monitor closely developments in Syria and alert any potential breaches by Syrian Government

Security Council:

1-     Decision to refer all the criminals and the involved to ICC

2-     Warn the Syrian Government Troops of the percussions of using chemical gases on life’s future in Syrian and its impact on stability of civil peace and coexistence of people in the same society .

3-     Serious attention to the case and put it under continuously control and research

4-     Decision to enable investigation team to move freely in Syria to make sure of the allegation of the use of this weapons

5-     Demand form country technically capable to apply satellite monitoring on chemical weapons and its warehouse in Syria , and to warn if the Syrian Government start any procedure to use it

Arab League:

1-     Demand Human Right Council and United Nations to give this serious issue the right attention and follow up

2-     Serious attention of this case and give it high priority, and try to take care of family of poisonous gas victims

3-     Political and diplomatic pressure on the Syrian Government Troops’ main allies-Russia, Iran and China -to prevent Syrian Government to use poisonous gases , and prevent them from continuous providing cover, and international and political protection for all the crimes committed against the Syrian people and hold them moral and physical responsibility for all the excesses of the Syrian Government Troops

4-     Serious attention to the case and put it under continuously control and research

5-       Support local councils and families with protective equipment and precautionary means and medical materials to deal with such disaster if it occurs again

NSA Reimburses Tech Companies for Compliance with Surveillance Programs

by Michael Yoakum
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

WASHINGTON, D.C., United States – A Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decision declassified by the Obama Administration last Wednesday revealed that some of the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs were deemed unconstitutional.  In accordance with that decision, the NSA made monetary restitution to upstream service providers like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

The NSA has repeatedly made headlines for requesting tech companies to hand over phone meta-data and internet traffic reports of US citizens. (Photo courtesy of The Washington Post)

The FISA Court decision, made in October 2011, pointed to the NSA’s inability to separate domestic communications from overseas traffic as evidence of Fourth Amendment violations.  Information provided to the Guardian by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden shows the Agency’s struggle to bring operations into compliance with the FISA Court ruling.  The ruling is unrelated to PRISM; however, it provides evidence of a financial relationship between the NSA and tech companies.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee,  said Friday that the NSA inspector general’s office gave the committee a report stating that there was evidence of “roughly one case per year” over the last decade that the NSA willfully violated surveillance rules to inappropriately gather information.

The NSA ordinarily has the FISA Court issue annual certifications as the legal support for conducting surveillance operations, but since the October 2011 ruling, the Court has repeatedly issued shorter, temporary certifications. Compliance with these temporary certifications, which must be frequently extended, costs tech companies millions of dollars.

Federal law allows tech companies to seek reimbursement for compliance with law enforcement requests, including requests for US phone meta-data and internet traffic. The Guardian reported that so far only Yahoo has admitted to requesting reimbursement for information turned over to the NSA.

News of the reimbursement program has civil liberties activists worried about the implications of tech companies being paid to hand over customers’ information.

The Washington Post reports Michelle Richards, a legislative counselor for the American Civil Liberties Union, as stating, ““The line you have to watch for . . . is the difference between reimbursement for complying with a lawful order and actually a profit-making enterprise.”

For more information, please see:

Fox News – Report: NSA pays tech companies for data – 24 August 2013

The New York Times – N.S.A. Said to Have Paid E-Mail Providers Millions to Cover Costs From Court Ruling – 23 August 2013

The Washington Post – The NSA paid Silicon Valley millions to spy on taxpayers – 23 August 2013

USA Today – NSA reimbursed tech firms millions for data – 23 August 2013

The Guardian – NSA paid millions to cover Prism compliance costs for tech companies – 22 August 2013