February 5, 2015 Special Dispatch No. 5957

'Alawite Syrian Writer Dima Wannous: The World Leaders Who Protested Against Terror In Paris Have Been Watching Syrians Being Killed And Tortured For Four Years

February 5, 2015
Syria, Syria | Special Dispatch No. 5957

In a harsh and outspoken article, 'Alawite Syrian writer Dima Wannous, who fled the violence in Syria and is currently residing in Lebanon, accuses the world leaders of hypocrisy and of employing a double standard in their attitude towards the terror in Paris versus the terror of the Syrian regime. In the article, titled "I Am the Syrian Charlie," she wrote that those world leaders, who gathered in Paris to express their outrage at the killing of 12 people in the Charlie Hebdo attack, have been indifferent to the Syrian war, which has been going on for four years and has so far resulted in over 200,000 dead, hundreds of thousands wounded, and millions displaced.

The following are translated excerpts from her article, which was posted on an oppositionist Syrian website:[1]

"'I am not Charlie.' I am a Syrian living in Beirut along with other Syrians, most of whom are displaced and fleeing the death and destruction [in Syria]. A few days ago, some of them died under the same skies as the Americans, French, Russians, Iranians, Palestinians, Iraqis, and Somalis. Some had the blood freeze in their veins, as their little lungs could no longer breathe the frigid air of a wind-ripped tent buried in snow and swept by floods, on the same earth that supports the many leaders who protested in Paris a few days ago...

"For four years, [these leaders] were silent, content to watch me as I am tortured, as my throat is slit, as my fingernails are torn out, as my skin adheres to my bones from starvation, and as my face turns green as I asphyxiate in chemical attacks. Secure in their palaces, they observe my suffering on television and read about it in the newspapers. They watched, remained silent, and did nothing besides express concern and sorrow. Perhaps my hunger alarmed them. Perhaps they shed a tear or two. But they did not come together one single time like they came together because of terrorism a few days ago in Paris.

Dima Wannous (, January 15, 2015)

 "'I am not Charlie.' But I am against terrorism everywhere. I am a Syrian who changed her Facebook profile picture to one of Charlie, and, several days later, to one of Saudi activist Raif Badawi, sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison on charges of 'harming Islam.' Before that, I changed my picture to one of Santa Claus arrested in Amman [Jordan] for 'proselytizing,' and [before that] to one of Iranian activists arbitrarily sentenced to death... Yes, I am a Syrian who finds time to follow news on violence and human rights violations worldwide. But not many find the time to show solidarity with me...

"What exonerates the Syrian regime of the charge of terrorism? What makes the killing of 12 [in Paris] worse than the killing and execution of over 200,000 Syrians over the past four years? What impact did the photos of 50,000 tortured corpses in Syrian regime prisons published by CNN and The Guardian have? Is such torture not considered terrorism, or is it the identity of the tortured that determines whether it is terrorism or merely a mildly worrisome human rights violation? Had the Syrian regime used even some of these methods of torture against foreign journalists, would the West have reacted the same?

"'I am Charlie' only if you truly let me be - when you recognize me as a victim of the terrorism of a criminal regime that bombs me, destroys my home, tortures me, and amputates my limbs... 'I am Charlie' only if you grant me my right to live honorably and express myself freely without being targeted by terrorists, without being bombed by a jet, or starved to death..."





[1], January 15, 2015.

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