SOHR: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – A cheap imitation

Posted: January 19, 2012 in International
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The faked “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” in Syria, but based in London, is aware that their real backgrounds are going to come out. There may be also a good reason why a credible network as Voltaire Network calls this “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” just an office of the Muslim Brotherhood, based within London.

Today, the responsible but questionable people behind this dubious “Observatory” (finally, no real observatory, of course) distributed this public letter to the journalists. It is somehow funny, because already in last year, some networks, websites and blogs were aware, that this propaganda-tool, the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights”, has a huge lack of credibility and also an enormous lack of evidence and verifications.

But despite good questions, interesting reports and investigative bloggers (e.g. Syria: A Corner Shop Supplies the World’s Press), a lot of so-called journalists still used and use the questionable information of this “office”, based in London.

So the questions remain and journalists should be asked if they still take care about the dogmas of real journalism at their daily work. If not, are these journalists aware that they are might being misused by questionable “interests”?

Maybe they know about. As stated already often here and there, this “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” is a useful tool for the false propaganda against the Syrian government and President al-Assad. It delivers a wrong image, based on non-confirmed reports and dubious information. Maybe the U.S. administration and also the French and British government are happy about such an “office” for “Human Rights”, based in London.

We also published some information and content about this “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” already. As Voltaire Network, Hinter der Fichte and others, we are convinced that this “observatory” is indeed fabricated to be used for questionable interests and goals.

Apparently the responsible “persons” behind this made-up “Human Rights” organization got aware now, that their real story and background is going to come out soon. Maybe because there are still some journalists, who care more about the truth than about their job or/and work specifications. Maybe some also are still in line with the dogmas of real journalism.

In the end it is no surprise and was to predict, that such a statement will be published by the dubious people behind this “useful” but not credible Human Rights organization.

The “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” published this statement / letter to journalists – make up your own opinion about this:

“Dear Sir/Madam

We would like to apologize for any confusion that you may be currently experiencing with regards to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

We would like to take this opportunity to give you some background information for your benefit.

Firstly, there is NO individual by the name of Rami Abdulrahman. This is just an alias that was being used by all SOHR members and mainly by the founders of the SOHR when articles were being originally published.

There is however a gentleman based in Coventry whose primary profession is installing satellite dishes who volunteered at the SOHR in late 2010. This gentleman is called Mr. Osama Ali Suleiman and as a volunteer he contributed in publishing the Arabic language news articles on the SOHR website This was the full extent of his remit and contribution, as a volunteer of this organization. It is worth noting that Mr. Osama is unable to communicate in the English language and only had a very modest level of education in Syria.

In August 2011 the board of trustees asked Mr. Osama to cease publishing news articles onto the website as it was alleged that he had established links with Mr. Rifaat Al Assad (the uncle of the current Syrian President Bashar Al Assad). The very nature of the articles being published was also controversial as they were not verified by any other member of SOHR and they referred to incidents and deaths suffered by the Syrian regime security forces. The reasons as to why this raised suspicions is because the Observatory does not have any links with Syrian regime members in order to be able to state or verify any such incidents.

When Mr. Osama was asked to give up his volunteer post he retaliated by changing all the username and password details of the website so that only he could access it and publish material and subsequently declared himself chairman. He started using the Rami Abdulrahman alias which the rest of the trustees abandoned as it was decided after the eruption of the Syrian uprising on the 15 march 2011 that, in the interest of transparency, only real names were to be used from that point on when communicating with the press.

The rest of the organization decided that due to the swift developing nature of the Syrian uprising no time should be wasted in altercating with Mr. Osama as the website that he was controlling doesn’t ever hold any useful/recent information on Syria and that he would not be able to actually engage in any activity with the English speaking press. As a result was established and it gets regularly updated (in both Arabic and English) with the developments on the ground in Syria.

Ignoring Mr. Osama for this length of time appears to have been a misjudgment by the rest of the SOHR members as it appears that Mr. Osama has since sought and acquired some support from fellow friends in order to boost his claims and spoil the reputation of the SOHR. We are deeply concerned as we have been informed that Mr. Osama himself is a member of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and these friends are suspected to be affiliated with same organization as well.

Further proof of the isolation of Mr. Osama is given by the fact that he currently has no operational team and that he acts authoritatively with no peers to verify, support or challenge his work.

You will already be aware that the SOHR is London based. This is because the majority of our members are based in London whereas Mr. Osama is solely based in Coventry. We would like to take this opportunity to confirm that the Trustees of the SOHR are:

* Mr. Fadi Al-Haddad (Co-founder of SOHR, Based in London)

* Mrs. Maya Fateh (Co-founder of the SOHR and Writer – Now in Syria)

* Dr. Lina Jamoul (Team Leader with Citizens UK in East London)

* Mr. Husam Aldin Mohammed (Chief Editor of the Alquds Newspaper in London)

* Mr. Mohammed Antabli (Businessman and Writer Based in London)

* Mr. Ghassan Ibrahim (Chairman of the Arab Global Network in London)

* Mr. Abdul Sayed Omar (Project Manager & Human Rights Activist Based in Wolverhampton and Works in London)

* Dr. Mousab Azzawi (Consultant Pathologist & Human Rights Activist Based in London)

We at the SOHR are now seeking legal advice and are preparing to take legal action against Mr. Osama whilst we remain committed to our cause of flagging human rights abuses committed in Syria to the international community and media.

Should you need any further information or clarifications please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours faithfully,

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (London)”

Image: Mantas Ruzveltas /

  1. After his two visits to Syria, the French academic warned of the suspicious role of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which manipulated news sources to mislead the general opinion, particularly in Europe, and broadcast fake and misleading news that always blame the government authorities and make sure of brightening up the image of the opposition.

    Piccinin added that the Observatory, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood movement is considered the most important source for false news upon which most of the French media bases in its news and analyses.

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