22 Aug CFA activity in Austria
Mrs Mariam Alhallak represented the Caesar Families Association at the Caesar Photos Exhibition, at the official invitation of the Austrian Coordination to Support the Syrian Revolution, that took place in Vienna. In addition to the above mentioned entities, the following participants took place in the exhibition:
- The attorney Mr Anwar Al-Bunni
The Austrian Parliament deputies:
- Omar Mohammad Noor Alrawi
- Abdalaty Karimi
- Martha Bisman
Mr Badran Farwati, member of the Austrian Coordination, launched the exhibition with a brief statement in which he explained the story of the military official so-called Caesar, who defected from the Syrian Regime and leaked the photos, helping uncover the truth about what was happening in Syrian Government’s detention centers. He demanded that everyone who participated in these crimes be tried, considering that they amount to war crimes as well as crimes against humanity. Moreover, he called for the international community to shed light on the humanitarian crisis in Syria, as mass murders have been on-going for the past ten years.
Mrs Thawra Kurdiya, member of the Austrian Coordination, introduced Mrs Mariam Alhallak, who gave a speech on behalf of the Association and discussed how Caesar leaked the photos, uncovering the atrocities the Syrian regime committed against detainees and giving an invaluable service to families and mothers.
In comparison with other mothers, Mrs Mariam considered herself luckier than mothers who still didn’t know the whereabouts of their loved-ones, who have been missing for 8 years now. These families still hope to find their loved-ones alive, because when a family member is arrested, life stops for the rest of the family.
Mrs Mariam described her relief when she identified her son’s face in the Caesar Photos as his features were clear which means that he died soon after his detention. This meant that he wasn’t tortured for long after being detained, unlike other detainees who had to endure the regime’s torture for years before being killed as a consequence of such torture.
After her intervention, the pictures of the victims who were murdered in Syrian Government’s detention centers were exhibited, along with symbolic statues representing the tortures prisoners suffer inside these centers (statues made by Mr Ibrahim Barghouth, member of the Austrian Coordination).
Additionally, some videos of these tortures were exhibited, showing practices the Syrian Government used and still uses against prisoners at their detention centers.
Following this, the attorney Mr Anwar Al-Bunni made a statement about the victims’ rights and the responsibility of the international community in holding those responsible accountable for these crimes against humanity.
Mrs Martha Bisman, member of the Austrian Parliament, also made a statement standing in solidarity with the victims, as well as supporting the Association’s goals and thanking the Coordination for their efforts in launching the exhibition.
Mrs Mariam Alhallak spoke after the exhibition to a TV reporter from Orient News and the Austrian journalist Lukas Matzinger from the Austrian newspaper Falter. Then they met one of the families that recognized their missing family member among the Caesar Photos and coordinated with them to join the association.