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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 

Amnesty criticises Lebanon's treatment of refugees

Amnesty International has condemned the Lebanese government's treatment of Palestinians.

300,000 refugees are denied access to work, education, adequate housing and health care, according to the human rights group.

They face persecution and racism from the people and are blamed for many of the country's problems.

The Palestinians in Lebanon are treated worse than in any other Arab country in what the group calls "systematic discrimination".

Amnesty says the government has got a duty to improve conditions in the 12 refugee camps. Maintenance is left to the residents, with the government offering no help. The size of the camps has not been allowed to increase since 1948 - even though the number of refugees has increased four-fold in that time.

They say 10 people often share one room, with no ventilation.

The full report is here.

I'm disillusioned with activists and activism. My expert analysis for today on Amnesty's comment is a very Syrian one - Toz.

FOXNews accuses Syria of admitting that Israel hit a Nuclear facility:


Thanks for the ass Wassim. Why the dissillusion?

Syria Almighty, this line is the giveaway: "according to a document obtained Wednesday by FOX News."

I put about as much value on documents 'obtained' by FucksNews as, well, nothing.

"Israel was the fourth-largest exporter of weapons of mass destruction and a violator of other nations' airspace, and it had taken action against nuclear facilities, including the 6 July attack in Syria,"

Their juicy quote from the Syrian official doesn't even make sense!!

First, he says 6 July, when the attack was actually 6 Sept. And secondly, does he ACTUALLY say Israel was targeting Syrian nuclear facilities?? It's all a bit of a jumble. But trust Fox to rely on confusion to spread neo-belligerence.

A more confused, incoherent mass I have never met. They are the "rebels without a clue" possessing a deep seated and infantile hostility to authority and claiming to be rebelling against a status quo but are in fact conforming to it.

Syria never referred to nuclear site: UN Spokesman


Lol, FAUXNews fails again.

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U.N.: Interpreter error led to incorrect Syria nuclear report

What's this?
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations blamed an interpreter's error for an erroneous report that Syria claimed an Israeli airstrike hit a Syrian nuclear facility, a mistake that made headlines in the Middle East and heightened concerns over Damascus' nuclear ambitions.
Syria denied on Wednesday that one of its representatives told the U.N. General Assembly's committee that deals with disarmament on Tuesday that Israel had attacked a Syrian nuclear facility and added that "such facilities do not exist in Syria."

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, quoting an unnamed Foreign Ministry source, said its representative was misquoted — and after more than seven hours of investigation the United Nations said that was indeed the case.

"There was an interpretation error made yesterday when the First Committee was in session," U.N. associate spokesman Farhan Haq said. "There was no use of the word nuclear."

"Although in English the interpreter had suggested that the Syrian delegate had referred to an attack on a nuclear facility, what he said was 'like what happened on the 6th of September against my country,"' Haq said.

The incident started Tuesday night with a U.N. press summary of the First Committee that paraphrased an unnamed Syrian representative as saying that "Israel was the fourth largest exporter of weapons of mass destruction and a violator of other nations' airspace, and it had taken action against nuclear facilities, including the 6 July attack in Syria."

Israeli warplanes carried out an airstrike in northeastern Syria near the border with Turkey on Sept. 6, not July 6.

The target remains unknown but widespread reports say it may have been a nascent nuclear facility, a claim Syria has denied.

At U.N. headquarters in New York, the spokesman's office said Wednesday morning the Syrian representative spoke in Arabic.

After several hours, Haq said the exact words of the English interpreter were: "An entity that is the fourth largest exporter of weapons of mass destruction in the world, an entity that violates other countries' airspace, and that takes action against nuclear facilities, including the attack on 6 July this year on a nuclear facility in my country — that entity has no right to lie, which it has done consistently."

It took until late afternoon for the U.N. to issue the correct translation from the original Arabic words spoken by the Syrian representative.

According to the corrected text, the Syrian delegate said: "...the (entity) that is ranking number four among the exporters of lethal weapons in the world; that which violates the airspace of sovereign states and carries out military aggression against them, like what happened on Sept. 6 against my country, such entity with all those characteristics and even more, has no right for its representative to go on lying without shame..."

The Syrian representative was replying to a speech to the committee on Monday by Israeli Ambassador Miriam Ziv, deputy director general for strategic affairs in the Foreign Ministry, who accused Syria of continuing to transfer weapons to Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon.

According to the U.N., the Syrian delegate accused Israel of planting "millions of cluster bombs in Lebanon" and refusing to hand over the relevant maps, of burying "nuclear wastes" in the occupied Palestinian territories, of building illegal settlements, and of trying "to change the identity of the Syrian territories" in the Golan Heights which Israel captured in the 1967 war.

On Wednesday, before the U.N. announced the error, the Syrian representative demanded at the disarmament committee that the U.N. investigate how the mistake was made, suggesting that it was deliberate, and correct the record.

Israeli radio stations, citing unidentified Israeli diplomats, on Wednesday quoted the Syrians as telling the U.N. meeting that a nuclear target had been struck. However, the Israeli radio reports did not say whether the Israeli diplomats had attended the session or merely had read the U.N. press release on the meeting.

President Bashar Assad said earlier this month that the target was an "unused military building."

Asked about the Sept. 6 incident on Tuesday, before the erroneous report surfaced, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "we have not received any concrete evidence and concrete information. We need to get more clear information."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Copyright 2007 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

I am a student from the University of Vermont in the United States and am in a class about Gender in the Middle East in which we are doing a blog project for? Do you think that Amnesty Internationals report is good or bad? How does it affect Syrian politics? Are there a high number of Palestinian refugees in Syria? If so, how does the Syrian government treat them and how has Amnesty responded to their policies?

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