US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Syria has been denounced by the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) as an insult to Ahwazi Arab refugees currently living in fear for their lives in Damascus.
Pelosi met with Syrian Baathist dictator Bashar al-Assad in an effort to showcase her Democrat party's agenda on foreign policy. This came at a time when al-Assad is ordering the arrest and deportation of Ahwazi Arab UNHCR-registered refugees, in violation of international law (click here for report). According to media reports, Pelosi did not address the Baathist regime's human rights record in her meeting with the Syrian dictator.
Ahwazi refugees are being hunted down in Damascus and a number have been detained and deported to Iran. On their arrival in Tehran, the refugees are arrested, held in solitary confinement in Section 209 of Evin Prison and tortured to the extent that they cannot walk and suffer injuries to internal organs (click here for report). The Syrian security forces have placed the UNHCR's office in Damascus under surveillance, forcing refugees into hiding.
BAFS spokesman Nasser Bani Assad said: "Pelosi is a disgrace. She did not confront President Bashar al-Assad on human rights violations and Syria's breach of international law by deporting refugees under the UNHCR's protection. Her cosy meetings with this hated dictator brought legitimacy to a corrupt and despotic regime at a time when it should be confronted on state terrorism and its human rights atrocities.
"Pelosi and the Democrats have no interest in human rights and don't care about the people suffering under the Baathist regime, who include Ahwazi Arab refugees who have fled from persecution, torture and execution in Iran. Pelosi doesn't impress anyone."