The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) considered the meeting of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, with the Minister of Interior in the Assad government, Mohammed al-Rahmoun, as sending a “negative message” to refugees.
“The High Commissioner and his staff are not sufficiently informed about the background of Rahmoun and the horrific violations in which he has been implicated — some of which constitute crimes against humanity,” the network said in its report.
“This meeting sends a negative message to millions of refugees and displaced people outside regime-controlled areas. The meeting bears a conciliatory implication towards the regime and indicates a desire for rapprochement between UNHCR and the regime,” the network said.
The network stressed that Rahmoun is affiliated with the national security services, which use the “barbaric whip” in dealing with Syrian citizens. In addition, Rahmoun has been involved in committing war crimes, arresting thousands of Syrians, and forcibly disappearing them.
Since taking up his current UN post in 2016, Filippo Grandi has frequently visited the Syrian capital Damascus. The most recent trip occurred last week when he met with regime Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad and Interior Minister Mohammed Rahmoun.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.