Syrians in Australia released a statement on Saturday to the Australian government condemning the “major gaffe” carried out by the SBS television channel following an interview conducted with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The statement said that the interview with Assad “allowed him to insult the policy and government of Australia and falsify the facts of what is happening in Syria, including the crimes that the Assad regime is still carrying out against Syrians.”
The statement added that the timing of the interview “serves Assad’s aims to restore himself and reinvigorate his fallen regime by giving him a golden opportunity to portray himself as innocent and minimize his killing of hundreds of thousands of Syrians and his destruction of an entire people,” in addition to displacing millions outside Syria, and to justify him under the pretext of fighting terrorism, while he is still practicing the ugliest forms of terrorism in Syria daily, before the world, with no serious efforts to stop him.
It called for an open investigation to hold those in the station’s management to account for this act to prevent any repetition of the interview. It said the channel had ignored Australian morals and values and the criminal character of Assad, by giving him space to relay accusations against Australia on a platform that should be defending the country and protecting its democratic values.
The statement said that, “This interview is directed against the Australian people who fund this channel from their efforts and tax money.” It demanded the channel issue an apology to the Syrian people and to the government and people of Australia.
It noted that the interview with Assad had caused severe anger and sadness for all the victims of Assad, especially the Syrian refugees in Australia, and other parts of the world, including those who had lost loved ones and have been subjected to torture, imprisonment, and have had their homes and all their property destroyed.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author