סה"כ צפיות בדף

יום שלישי, 13 בדצמבר 2011

קדימה - התחקיר המלא של איילה חסון



התחקיר המלא של איילה חסון



אברי גלעד: הופעלו עלינו לחצים כבדים.. בכל ימי כמגיש בטלוויזיה לא נתקלתי בכזה עניין...

יום שישי, 25 בנובמבר 2011

יחימוביץ' (העיתונאית) : ''התקשורת פועלת פוליטית נגד ביבי''

  


יום שבת, 5 בנובמבר 2011

Police Report: All Assault Rapists in Oslo Follow Muhammad

Norway’s police issues report with amazing statistic: all assault rapes in Oslo in 2010 were perpetrated by Muslims

Israel news photo: Flash 90
Defenders of Islam call it a "religion of peace" but many Norwegian women are learning that Islam is the religion of rape. According to an amazing policereport released there this month, every single solved case of assault-rape in the country in 2010 was carried out by a Muslim immigrant.
The report was cited by an official Norwegian television station, which interviewed a victim who said that her rapist explained to her that his religion permits him to rape her.
According to the police report there was a total of 186 of known rape cases in 2010. These fall into various categories, the largest one of which is assault-rape, carried out by sheer physical force, of which there were 86 cases. In 83 of these cases the perpetrator could be identified by the victim. In all 83, the attacker was described as having "non-western appearance," a laundered euphemism for Muslim immigrants from Africa, the Middle East, or Asia.
In other categories of rape there were Norwegian attackers as well, but they were still in the minority (Note: the translation of the Norwegian TV report embedded here does not make a distiction between "assault rape" and other forms of rape, and appears to confuse the statistics for 2010 with those for 2006-2010). 
A female police officer who commented on the report explained that “Many of the perpetrators who commit these rapes are on the edge of society often unemployed, arriving from traumatized countries. In the past five years it has often been asylum seekers.”
The problem is not new. A report in Aftenposten in 2001 said: “While 65 percent of those charged with rape are classed as coming from a non-western background, this segment makes up only 14.3 percent of Oslo's population. Norwegian women were the victims in 80 percent of the cases.”
“In other words,” says the New American, “Muslims from Africa and other benighted Third World places are targeting Western women for rape.” It elaborates:
“In 2005, the blogger Fjordman reported on a similar rape wave in Sweden. A crime prevention study that year reported that Algerians, Libyans, Moroccans, and Tunisians ‘dominate the group of rape suspects,’ he reported. The same year, the newspaper Aftonbladetreported that nearly half of all rapists were immigrants.”
Yehuda Bello, an Israeli blogger who is well-acquainted with Norwegian culture, noted thereport and claimed that Norwegians are a culture that suffers from “extreme boredom” due to the presence of huge oil reserves, and are thus inordinately interested in multiculturalism and assorted “human rights” campaigns.
They are also traditionally anti-Semitic, he believes. As a result their politicians and press are focused on Israel’s actions in Shechem (Nablus) and Hevron and choose to ignore Muslim misdeeds – be they in Iran, Syria, or in Norway itself.
Despite this, he reports, the Muslim rape campaign has become so terrible that even Norwegians have begun to recognize the reality around them, and in recent months there have been protests where the slogan was “Muslims out!”.

יום שלישי, 4 באוקטובר 2011

יום שישי, 30 בספטמבר 2011

Rosh Hashanah etiquette guide

Congress closes. Some schools close. Jewish friends and co-workers are being nicer than usual. Then they ask for a few days off, sometimes in the middle of the week. Round challah with raisins show up at the deli. Honey, grape juice, apples and brisket go on sale at major supermarket chains. What is going on?
Don’t panic — it’s Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which begins at sundown on Wednesday evening, September 28th. While traditionally the holiday is observed for two days, some Reform congregations today only observe one day.
Rosh Hashanah, an ancient holiday described in the Torah (Hebrew Bible), is observed on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishreiand is a commemoration of the Big Bang which fashioned the universe, our planet, and ultimately Adam and Eve. Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of humanity experiencing the world.
While you might think that Jews party like it’s 5772 — yes, that is the year on the Hebrew Calendar — don’t look for all night bashes as you are more likely to find your Jewish friends in synagogue or at their parent’s house. Many Jews, who would otherwise not be caught dead in a synagogue, somehow find their way there on Rosh Hashanah. Jews believe that on that day, God judges the world and decides, “who will live and who will die...” We ask God for forgiveness and pray to be inscribed in the “Book of Life” for a sweet and healthy New Year. And, really, who wants to miss out on that?
Rosh Hashanah inaugurates a time of reflection called the aseret yamei teshuva, ten days of penitence. We believe that while we can find forgiveness for sins committed against the Boss,  it is left to to us to seek out and apologize to people we have wronged in the previous year. Theaseret yamei teshuva end on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when God’s decree for the coming year is sealed, and the final version of our contract issued.
There are three ways to avoid being left out of that Book of Life even if one has not behaved well: repentance (teshuva), prayer (tefillah), and charity (tzedakah). Consequently, Jews give a lot of charity and spend a lot of time in prayer, or at least in synagogue. We humble ourselves as we start the process of asking forgiveness. Teshuva is a process of getting our community and ourselves back on track, out of bad habits and into living meaningful and righteous lives.
The most famous symbol of the holiday, the Shofar, is sounded in synagogues on Rosh Hashanah, and is critical to our obligations on Rosh Hashanah. It’s not an ancient trumpet for the likes of Wynton Marsalis,rather the Shofar is serious business and fashioned from a ram’s horn. The blasts of the Shofar are likened both to the wordless cries of the humanity speaking to God, and a wake-up call to the soul which transcends rational explanation.
Some of our other cherished customs include: dipping challah and apples into honey and eating honey cake to symbolize our wish for a sweet new year; consuming  huge meals with too many courses, calories, and cousins; tossing bread crumbs into living waters during a ceremony called “Tashlich” to symbolically cast away our sins; and renewing synagogue memberships.
All are welcome to attend Rosh Hashanah services, but make sure to call in advance to see if you need a reservation. Owing to popularity and the need to raise revenue, most congregations charge for seats, as Larry David found out in an unforgettable episode of his show. However, there are more and more congregations that offer free and open services to the community. If going to synagogue, the custom is to wear a nice outfit, because we want to make a good first impression for the New Year.
Feel free to greet your Jewish friends and neighbors with “Happy New Year,” or to use the Hebrew expression “Shana Tova,”which is a wish for a  “good new year.”
May you blessed with sweet and healthy New Year and Shana Tova!

יום שני, 12 בספטמבר 2011

יום שני, 5 בספטמבר 2011

טורקיה מאיימת על כל סביבתה


טורקיה מאיימת על כל סביבתה

פינחס ענברי

05/09/2011 1:52:55

האיום של טורקיה ל"הבטיח את שלום הספנות במזרח הים התיכון "הוא איום מלחמה בישראל. לפיכך, האיום של שלה להשעות את עסקאות הנשק עם ישראל הוא דבר בעתו. ישראל היא זאת שצריכה להיות מעוניינת עכשיו בהפסקת העסקאות האלו, כי לא יעלה על הדעת שהיא תספק טכנולוגיה צבאית למדינה שמאיימת עליה במלחמה.
אך יש לשים לב, שטורקיה לא מאיימת רק על ישראל במלחמה, גם סוריה, ארמניה וקפריסין היוונית זכו למנת איומים וגידופים מצידה.
ליווי השיירות לעזה בספינות הצי הטורקי נראה כחלק מפריסת הצי כדי לערער על הסכמי חלוקת הגז הטבעי בין קפריסין לישראל. כזכור, טורקיה כבשה מחצית האי ומתוקף הכיבוש הזה גם לה יש תביעות על מרבצי הגז. היא דורשת מקפריסין היוונית, ומן הסתם גם תבוא דרישה עתידית לישראל , שלא לקדוח בים עד שלא תיושב סוגיית חלוקת קפריסין, כלומר עד לאחרית הימים כאשר השר לענייני האיחוד האירופי, אגמן באייש, נשאל האם הצי הטורקי יתערב בעניין המחלוקת עם קפריסין על קידוח הגז, ענה:. "בשביל זה יש צי".
טורקיה עמדה לפלוש לסוריה, אבל נרתעה בגלל אזהרותיהן של רוסיה ואיראן. היא מפגיזה את הכורדים בתחום עיראק, וזכתה לתלונה רשמית של ממשלת עיראק על התנהגותה הגסה. יתר על כן, תלוי ועומד סכסוך מול ארמניה, לאחר שנשיא ארמניה אמר לתלמידי בית ספר כי בעיית הר אררט, סמל לאומי ארמני המצוי בתוך טורקיה, תיפתר בדורות הבאים. ארדואן דרש מנשיא ארמניה להתנצל ורמז כי אם לא יתקיים הדבר, טורקיה תגבה את אזרבייג'אן עם חידוש הסכסוך הצבאי על נגורנו קרבאח. ארדואן אף יצא לביקור באזרבייג'אן כדי לתת משנה תוקף לאיומיו.
במקביל, שר החוץ הניאו עות'מאני שלו, אחמד דאותאוגלו, יצא למסע פרובוקטיבי בבלקן וברומניה במסגדים עות'מאניים במהלך העיד אלפיטר, וחנך מרכזי תרבות טורקיים שמחדשים את המורשת של הכיבוש העות'מאני בבלקן וברומניה.
עם כך, הסכסוך עם ישראל הוא המתוקשר ביותר כי טורקיה רוצה לרכוש את אהדת הערבים והמוסלמים על כרטיס שנאת ישראל, ובכך ארדואן אינו שונה מאחמדינג'אד. אבל למעשה, טורקיה מסוכסכת עם כל שכנותיה ומאיימת גם על מדינות אחרות

יום ראשון, 4 בספטמבר 2011

טאיפ ארדואן - טורקיה האימפריאלית



טורקיה מסוכנת למדינת ישראל

מאת: ד"ר יוחאי סלע

21.02.2009


מאז  שרג'פ טאיפ ארדואן  החל לכהן כראש-ממשלת טורקיה, תזזית אימפריאלית אחזה בטורקיה, ודומה הוא כי תחת הנהגתו של ארדואן טורקיה מעוניינת לחתור בהתמדה לעבר הגמוניה אזורית בסגנון העות'מני המאה של ה -19. בהתאם לשאיפה זו, כפי שאיראן של אחמדינג 'אד נוהגת, ארדואן חושב שהדרך לכך נעשית על חשבון גבה של מדינת-ישראל ועל חשבון ביטחונם של תושביה. רמז בוטה לכך התקבל בהתבטאויותיהם הפומביות של מדינאים טורקים שהשתלחו בישראל בעקבות  המערכה הצבאית בעזה  נגד החמאס. שכן, מחד-גיסא טורקיה טיפחה קשרים חמים עם תנועת החמאס בעזה ובדמשק, ומאידך, ימים אחדים לאחר בחירתו של ארדואן, במרס 2003, הוא לא היסס להצהיר שמדינת-ישראל היא מדינת טרור מאז אותה הצהרה, ממשלת ארדואן מנהלת מלחמת-התשה נגד ישראל בתחומים אחדים הנוגעים לאינטרסים האזוריים של טורקיה -. זו הרואה במזרח-התיכון מרחב אסלאמי טבעי בו ניתן לפעול בהתאם לשאיפותיה האימפריאליות. טורקיה בוחנת את המזרח-התיכון דרך הפריזמה האסלאמית והיא רואה בו קרקע פורייה עליה ינבטו פעם נוספת מעמדה ההיסטורי והשפעתה הפוליטית על מדינות האזור. לדעת אחדים ממעצבי המדיניות הטורקית הנוכחית, זהו המרחב הטבעי האמיתי של טורקיה על-פי תפיסתה המסורתית. ועם זאת, הטורקים כועסים מאוד משום שהמציאות אינה "מתנהגת יפה" בהתאם לתכתיביהם.
ארדואן מסמן מטרות לטרור העולמי
באמצע פברואר 2009, טורקיה אירחה כ -200 אנשי-דת מוסלמים מרחבי המזרח-התיכון שעסקו בסוגיות אחדות הנוגעות לג'יהאד חדש נגד ישראל ובהבעת תמיכה איתנה בתנועת החמאס ובמעשיה. נציגי הוועידה קראו למוסלמים לפתוח ב " חזית ג'יהאד שלישית "נגד ישראל בדומה למה שמתחולל בעיראק ובאפגניסטן. לשם כך, הם קראו לכל מדינות האזור לפתוח את שערי גבולותיהן עם ישראל על-מנת לסייע ללוחמי הג'יהאד העולמי לנהל מלחמת-קודש יעילה ופעילה נגד מדינת-ישראל ותושביה. במהלכה של הועידה שנערכה באיסטנבול, הושמעו קריאות רמות בסגנון "רק הנשק יביא כבוד", וזאת על-מנת לדרבן את מנהיגי המדינות המוסלמיות להעניק תמיכה פעילה ליוזמה החדשה. ללא יוצא מהכלל, כל הדוברים שיבחו את התנהלותו של ארדואן כלפי ישראל, בעיקר מאז שהחלה המערכה הצבאית בדרום נגד תנועת החמאס.
ארגוני טרור מזרח-תיכוניים מחפשים ללא הרף נקודות-תורפה אזוריים בהן ניתן לנהל מערכה צבאית יעילה נגד מטרות אזרחיות המזוהות עם המערב וישראל. אחדים מארגוני הטרור הללו מחפשים פלטפורמה ממנה ניתן לנהל מערכה כזו כפי שהדבר מתחולל  בתימן , בסומליה, בפקיסטאן, באיראן  ובסוריה . בהתאם לרוח הדברים היוצאים מטורקיה, סביר להניח שהארגונים הללו ימצאו תמיכה עממית רחבה לפעילותם הרדיקלית בטורקיה עצמה ואף בצפון-קפריסין - בחלק הנמצא תחת הכיבוש הטורקי מאז 1974. התבטאויותיו של ארדואן נגד ישראל בחודשים האחרונים, היוו למעשה כרטיס הזמנה פומבי לכול ארגוני הטרור לבצע פיגועים נגד מטרות ישראליות ויהודיות בטורקיה ובאזורים הנמצאים בשליטתה.
. קשה להעריך עוד כמה זמן ימשיך ארדואן לכהן כראש-ממשלת טורקיה לאור מדיניותו האסלאמית הרדיקלית ברור וידוע לכול שישנם גורמים רבים בטורקיה -  ביניהם גם גורמים צבאיים  -. שאינם שבעי-רצון מהתנהלותו של ארדואן בזירה הפנימית וזירה הבינלאומית למעשה, התנהגותו הברוטאלית של ארדואן סתמה את הגולל על הצטרפותה של טורקיה לאיחוד האירופאי, למרות שרבים יטענו שמלכתחילה לא היה לכך סיכוי בגלל צביונה הלאומי והדתי של טורקיה העלולים לערער עוד יותר את יסודותיה התרבותיים של היבשת הנוצרית המתמודדת עם גלי הגירה בלתי-פוסקים.
עיתונאים ישראלים אחדים נפלו קורבן לתעמולה הטורקית מאז שנודע שטורקיה מעוניינת לתווך בין ישראל לסוריה בעניין רמת-הגולן כחלק מהאסטרטגיה האזורית שלה. מאידך,  מעטים היו הישראלים שניסו להזהיר  את מקבלי ההחלטות בישראל ממעורבות-היתר של טורקיה בנעשה בזירה המזרח-תיכונית בנושאים הקשורים למהלכים מדיניים המתנהלים . בין ישראל לשכנותיה כך למשל, טורקיה ניסתה להתערב במחלוקת שנגעה לבניית הגשר במעלה-המוגרבים בירושלים; היא העניקה חיבוק חם ואוהד לאנשי החמאס בעזה - שהוא ארגון ג'יהאדי המתבסס על  עקרונות גזעניים ; היא מנהלת קשרים עסקיים עם איראן למרות האמברגו; היא ניסתה להשפיע על מצרים שתסכים לנוכחותם של חיילים טורקים במעברים ברצועת-עזה; היא ניסתה לתווך בין החמאס לבין אבו-מאזן מעל לראשה של מצרים ובניגוד לדעתה; טורקיה ניסתה להשפיע על ישראל שתסכים לאשר את בנייתו של בית-חולים פלסטיני בשטח ישראלי בגלבוע, לכאורה למען מטרה הומנית ; טורקיה מאותתת לישראל שהיא (ורק היא) יכולה לשחרר את גלעד שליט; טורקיה ניסתה להשפיע על ישראל שתעניק הכרה כלשהי  לרפובליקה הטורקית של צפון-קפריסין ; היא ניסתה לאיים על ישראל כדי שזו תשפיע על הארגונים היהודיים לבל יפעלו למען הכרה אמריקאית בשואה הארמנית ובאחריותה של טורקיה לשואה זו; ומעל הכל, טורקיה רצתה להעניק לסוריה את כל רמת-הגולן על חשבון מדינת-ישראל, כמובן.
צביעותה של טורקיה
טורקיה הנוכחית נוטה לזלזל בתרבות הישראלית הנוגעת לקדושת האדמה ולקדושת הריבונות הישראלית בעיני תושביה. במהלך חודש ינואר 2009, בשעה שדוברים טורקים ניהלו מסע אנטישמי נרחב ובוטה נגד מדינת-ישראל, הוגש דו"ח מיוחד למשרד-חוץ הטורקי על נכסים קרקעיים בתוך בסוריה השייכים לתושבים בעלי אזרחות טורקית. על-פי הדו"ח שהוכן באדיבותה של ועדה מיוחדת שהוקמה לשם כך, הסתבר שלטורקיה ישנה תביעה טריטוריאלית מסוריה על שטח המשתרע על כ -800,000 אקרים. בהתאם לרוח הדברים, טורקיה אינה מתכוונת לוותר לסוריה בעניין, והיא בוחנת אפשרויות אחדות כדי להשיב לעצמה את הנכסים הללו. בל נתפלא אם ארדואן חשב שהדרך להשבתם של הנכסים הללו נעשית  באמצעות ישראל  כחלק משיכוך המתח הקיים ממילא בין טורקיה לסוריה המשתרע על מגוון רחב של נושאים ועניינים. בשדרה החילונית והשברירית של טורקיה שוררת הסברה שהדרך היחידה להשיב את מעמדה הבינלאומי של טורקיה תהייה באמצעות סילוקו של ארדואן - בדרך זו או אחרת -. בהתאם למסורת הפוליטית החילונית אותה עיצב מוסטפה כמאל אטאטורק (1938-1881) הנחשב ל"אבי האומה הטורקית "אולם עד אז, טורקיה האסלאמית מסוכנת לישראל למרות הקשרים ההדוקים השוררים עם הממסד הצבאי הטורקי.
ʱ??
מאמרים נוספים בנושא:
==
מאת: ד"ר יוחאי סלע, "טורקיה מסוכנת למדינת ישראל",  מגזין המזרח התיכון , 21 בפברואר 2009.

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7,926 cables found. Show from
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2010, Feb 2
8
Syria - 2010 Trafficking In Persons ReportEmbassy Damascus (Syria)
Reference id: 10DAMASCUS172
Origin: Embassy Damascus
Time: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 11:52 UTC
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Highlight: PreviousNext
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 DAMASCUS 000172 SENSITIVE SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/RA, NEA/ELA, DRL/NESCA, G/TIP, INL, PRM, G FOR LAURA PENA LONDON FOR MILLER PARIS FOR NOBLES E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PHUM [Human Rights] PREF [Refugees] PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs] PREL [External Political Relations] ASEC [Security] ELAB [Labor Sector Affairs] KCRM [Criminal Activity] KFRD [Fraud Prevention Programs] KMCA [Millennium Challenge Account] KTIP [Trafficking in Persons], KWMN [Women Issues], SOCI [Social Conditions], SMIG [Migration], SY [Syria] SUBJECT: SYRIA - 2010 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT REF: A. STATE 002094 ¶B. 09 DAMASCUS 000139 ¶C. 09 DAMASCUS 000554 ¶D. 09 DAMASCUS 000727 ¶E. DAMASCUS 000036 ¶1. (U) The following is Post's submission of the annual trafficking in persons report. The Embassy's point of contact is Anthony A. Deaton. Office telephone: ( 963) (11) 3391-3207. Fax ( 963) (11) 3391-4687. Mr. Deaton (FS-03) spent 30 hours in preparation of the report, which is structured to answer ref A. -------------------------------- RESPONSES TO REPORTING QUESTIONS -------------------------------- ¶2. (SBU) 25.A: The Syrian Arab Republic government (SARG) has not, traditionally, made information publicly available on police activities in general. Regarding trafficking in persons (TIP) cases, the relevant government offices and police authorities have received very little of the requisite training and experience to identify and prosecute trafficking cases in the country accurately and swiftly. As a result, there are no reliable government-issued statistics. In fact, Post is unaware that the SARG even compiles data on trafficking crimes. Post sources on TIP come from a range of local human rights contacts, lawyers, and women's issues advocates, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the International Office for Migration (IOM), and other members of the international diplomatic community. Post considers the aforementioned sources to be trustworthy. (Note: UNHCR, UNRWA, and IOM do not want to be named in any State Department reporting critical of the Syrian government for fear it will seriously jeopardize their future access to Syrian government officials and undermine their work in the country. Post concurs with these organizations' concerns. END NOTE). On January 11, the SARG published Syria's first anti-trafficking law -- Legislative Decree No. 3 -- providing a legal foundation for defining and prosecuting TIP crimes. While the SARG did not respond to Post's request for statistics on cases pursued by judicial and law enforcement agencies, and on victims assisted (assuming they have the data), recent anti-trafficking legislation requires ministry officials to work with international partners in the future. Such cooperation could include sharing data on specific cases. During the reporting period, Post did meet with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on August 5, 2009 (ref C) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MoSAL) on October 12, 2009 (ref D) to discuss TIP issues. We hope these first steps will produce greater collaboration and information sharing between the Embassy and the SARG on TIP once an ambassador arrives at Post. ¶3. (SBU) 25.B: Syria is primarily a country of destination and transit for victims of trafficking (VOT). Consistent with last year's TIP report, Post sources contend that in 2008, Syria was not a country of origin for trafficking, nor was trafficking systematic throughout the country. While there is prostitution in the major cities, it is difficult to discern what percentage of prostitutes were trafficked. Nor was there any official information on whether women, Syrian or foreign, were trafficked internally for purposes of sex work or other forms of forced labor. Diplomatic and local contacts report, however, that there may be as many as several thousand women who fall into this category. Contacts suggest the vast majority of these women were involved in the domestic labor market, most of them originating from South East Asia and the horn of Africa, especially Indonesia, the Philippines, Somalia, and Ethiopia. Post is unaware of DAMASCUS 00000172 002 OF 011 Syrian men, women, or children being trafficked inside or outside the country for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation. VOTs who are transited through Syria to other countries include the aforementioned nationalities as well as Iraqi women and children refugees, most of whom are subjected to sexual exploitation and prostitution. These individuals are trafficked through Syria to Europe or Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, and Lebanon. ¶4. (SBU) 25.C: Embassy sources report most trafficking victims are women forced into domestic labor or prostitution. Women forced into prostitution fall into two groups: (1) those who arrive from former Soviet States (especially the Ukraine), Somalia, and Morocco; and (2) Iraqi refugees. Women employed as dancers were forced to live in unacceptable conditions. Their employers, Post has learned, held their passports and reportedly allowed them to leave the hotel each day for approximately three to four hours. In at least one case, the women were locked into their hotel from between 12-16 hours daily. Often, multiple women shared a single hotel room. The women reportedly could get more "free time" if they had managed to solicit a "john." Generally, neither nudity nor direct sexual contact (touching, etc.) are permitted in these clubs. Contacts reported women from Eastern Europe and former Soviet States were allowed to return to their native countries when their visas expired. In some cases, those women chose to return to Damascus to work in the same jobs once they became eligible for another tourist visa to Syria. Iraqi women and children were victims of sexual exploitation and forced prostitution. There were no official estimates on their numbers. Some Iraqi female refugees who turned to prostitution out of economic desperation were later VOTs after Syrian police arrested and deported them back to Iraq. In these cases, criminal gangs along the border trafficked the women back into Syria soon after police returned them to Iraq. Anecdotal evidence suggested that in some case Iraqi families arranged for their young daughters both to work in dance clubs and to participate in temporary pleasure marriages. In one case, a young girl, reportedly 10 years old, was managed by a madam who rented her out as a prostitute for extended periods of time. ¶5. (SBU) 25.C-Continued: The domestic labor industry is the most common reason for TIP in Syria. Many women are recruited to work in Syria as domestic servants and then forced to live like captive slaves with the families they serve. When they arrive in the country, either the recruitment agency or the hiring family keeps the women's passports. This tactic prevents women who are subjected to exploitive labor practices from leaving their employers. The number of domestic servants is in the tens of thousands; there were no reliable statistics on the percentage of domestic workers who were VOTs, though diplomatic and civil society contacts report the number is well into the thousands. ¶6. (SBU) 25.D: International and local NGOs, women's rights groups, and church activists all reported that Iraqi refugee women and girls were the most vulnerable to trafficking for the purposes of sex. This vulnerability stemmed from the economic hardships refugees faced in Syria (and Iraq). Economically deprived women from Eastern Europe, former Soviet States, and parts of Africa were also vulnerable. ¶7. (SBU) 25.E: Most non-Iraqi women trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation were lured to Syria. Employers from both Syria and the women's home countries reportedly recruited women as dancers and encouraged them to sign a low-wage contract with the understanding they would be paid more under the table upon arrival. Once they arrived, the dancers were told they could earn additional money from DAMASCUS 00000172 003 OF 011 prostitution during the few hours each day they were allowed to leave their residential hotels. Post has an unreliable estimate that several hundred women may be employed in this fashion, mostly in Damascus. International organizations have, by and large, not focused on the issue of women trafficked to Syria as dancers, presumably because the numbers are relatively low. Contacts have reported that some Eastern European women enter Syria on tourist visas with fraudulent travel documents procured or produced for them by traffickers in Europe. Contacts reported that these women usually remain in the country for six months and then return home. Some of the women allegedly choose to return of their own volition once they are eligible for a new tourist visa. ¶8. (SBU) 25.E-Continued: While there are reports that Iraqi and Syrian gangs work alone and in tandem in trafficking women for the sex industry, government and law enforcement authorities have not presented any quantifiable evidence on gang activity. Anecdotal evidence from international NGOs suggests that in some cases, Iraqis (both men and women) bring Iraqi women and girls to Syria who are falsely listed as wives and daughters on the traffickers' passports. In other cases, a trafficker may legally bring an Iraqi woman who is his wife through a "pleasure marriage" (which can be quickly and easily solemnized and then dissolved) to Syria and then transfer her to the proprietor of a nightclub or brothel. There have been even more extreme anecdotal reports wherein desperate Iraqi families abandoned their children on the Iraqi side of the Syrian-Iraqi border with the expectation that traffickers will pick them up and arrange forged documents. In still other cases, the traffickers may seek new passports for the women and girls before selling them to third-country nationals for employment in Lebanon, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. On January 20, 2010, an Abu Dhabi criminal court convicted seven Syrian men on charges of human trafficking, and six others for facilitating prostitution. The 13 men were allegedly part of a large human trafficking ring that lured Moroccan women to Abu Dhabi and then forced them into prostitution. ¶9. (SBU) 25.E-Continued: Excepting incidents where Iraqis are trafficked in private cars across the Syria-Iraq border, there was no evidence that the vast majority of women and girls working as domestics and nightclub dancers entered the country through anything other than legitimate commercial means. ¶10. (SBU) 25.E-Continued: There have been reports that throughout Syria dozens of unlicensed domestic labor recruitment agencies lure women to the country with false promises about the quality of life and work as a domestic. Once the women are in Syria, these agencies and/or the employers maintain custody of the women's passports, contrary to Syrian law, and force the domestics to work long hours, often without providing sufficiently private living quarters. There were reports that employers sometimes beat domestic workers who disobeyed their orders. Some women do manage to escape their employers, however, and an informal network of escapees has formed to provide assistance to one another, contacts reported. ------------------------------------------- Background on Government's Anti-TIP Efforts ------------------------------------------- ¶11. (SBU) 26.A: The government acknowledged human trafficking was a problem in the country during the reporting period as evinced by the passage of the country's first comprehensive trafficking law, Legislative Decree No. 3, on January 11, 2010 (ref E). DAMASCUS 00000172 004 OF 011 ¶12. (SBU) 26.B: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MoSAL), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), and the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) are the four main government bodies working directly on anti-trafficking efforts. Syria's comprehensive anti-trafficking law, Legislative Decree No. 3, designates MoSAL as the lead agency on victims assistance; MoI will spearhead interdiction efforts and collaboration with international partners. MoJ's role will be in the area of prosecution. The MFA will be involved to the extent that its Office of International Programs has visibility over issues involving international NGOs. While no government-issued statistics on interdiction and prosecution exist, the MoI has, in the past, claimed to have worked with police to disrupt illegal domestic labor recruitment agencies and brothels. ¶13. (SBU) 26.C: Adequate training remained the biggest limitation on combating trafficking in persons crimes in Syria. Even though IOM has offered many workshops on anti-trafficking measures to government and police representatives, operational protocols were still in the earliest stages of development at the end of the reporting period. Representatives from IOM and UNHCR were looking into how they might support the SARG's efforts to implement Legislative Decree 3 by the prescribed April 11 deadline. Even with extensive outside support, we assess the SARG will still struggle to provide adequate training to police troops, lawyers, judges, and other government officials. Contacts have intimated that despite the new law, corrupt elements within the SARG could obstruct enforcement and prosecution, though there was no credible hard evidence to support these suggestions. Finally, TIP-related issues raise the risk of embarrassment to a conservative society that is hesitant to address labor and sexual exploitation publicly. This cultural conservatism could hamper law enforcement efforts in identifying and assisting VOTs. ¶14. (SBU) 26.D: The 2010 comprehensive trafficking in persons law tasked the MoI with establishing a dedicated anti-trafficking crime unit. While the full mandate for this organization has yet to be determined, the law makes clear the unit will have oversight on enforcement issues. Specific to child labor issues, the government currently monitors public- and private-sector industries through surprise inspections to ensure no children under the age of 15 are employed. There were no government-issued statistics on, or assessments of, its anti-trafficking efforts during the reporting period. ¶15. (SBU) 26.E: The government worked with international NGOs and foreign embassies in Damascus to establish the identity and citizenship of VOTs. Regarding the Iraqi refugee population, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and relevant government officials coordinated with IOM and UNHCR on issues of identifying victims and providing assistance. ¶16. (SBU) 26.F: Contacts at international NGOs remained cautious in their assessments of the government's capacity to gather sufficient information for assessing its law enforcement efforts. The primary problem was the lack of training for police, lawyers, judges, and relevant government officials. If a workaround exists in the short term, it will be through allowing international NGOs to play a more direct role in assisting the government in its operations and providing them with training on how best to identify and capture the relevant data. -------------------------------------------- Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers -------------------------------------------- DAMASCUS 00000172 005 OF 011 ¶17. (SBU) 27.A: Syria enacted a comprehensive trafficking law, Legislative Decree No. 3, on January 11, 2010 (ref E). The law's date of implementation will be April 11, 2010. The three-month lag is consistent with the Syrian legislative process and is intended to provide the relevant ministries with sufficient time to develop protocols and standard operating procedures for carrying out the law's mandates. Two translated copies of the law (one by Post and another by IOM) have been sent under separate cover to G/TIP (please contact Rachel Yousey for copies). IOM is still working with the MoJ to polish an official English version, which Post will provide the Department upon receipt. The law addresses trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Moreover, the law penalizes trafficking whether it be international or domestic (internal) in nature. ¶18. (SBU) 27.A-Continued: In addition to Legislative Decree No. 3, Syria has a range of laws that allow the government to prosecute alleged trafficking crimes. Under Article 3 of Law 10 (1961), individuals who facilitate travel of Syrian women abroad to work as prostitutes are to be punished by one to five years in prison and a fine of 1,000 to 5,000 Syrian pounds (about $20 to $100). If more than one victim is involved, or if the victim is less than 16 years old, or is a paid servant, the maximum sentence increases to seven years. The direct text is as follows: "Whoever entices a male under the age of 21 or a female of whatever age to leave the United Arab Republic (Note: Egypt and Syria were one country at the time End note.), facilitates his/her departure, uses or accompanies him/her abroad to work in prostitution, and all those knowing the purpose of the departure and who assist in the process, shall be given a one to five-year imprisonment and a fine of 1,000 to 5,000 Syrian pounds (approximately $20 to $200), and the maximum penalty would be imprisonment of seven years if the crime was committed against two or more persons." ¶19. (SBU) 27.A-Continued: There are other legal texts in Syria that could further augment the anti-trafficking law currently in draft form, according to IOM. For instance, Section 555 of the General Penal Code states "whoever incarcerates another person will be subjected to a prison sentence of six months to two years." Section 556 states that "if the incarceration (of the victim by the perpetrator) lasts for more than one month or includes torture, the sentence will include hard labor." Decree 29 of 1970, which regulates the immigration of foreigners, stipulates that "any foreigner who tries to enter the country with false documentation and anyone who may have aided that foreigner is subject to imprisonment of three months to one year and a fine of 500 Syrian Pounds ($10) to 2,000 ($40)." In practice, however, these laws are not targeted toward, or enforced against, traffickers. ¶20. (SBU) 27.A-Continued: The General Penal Code also provides punishments for the exploitation of prostitution by force, fraud, and/or coercion. Article 510 states: "Whoever attempts to seduce or take away a girl or woman . . . . with or without her consent, by means of deception, violence, threats, use of force or other compulsory means shall receive a three-year imprisonment and a fine of 300 Syrian Pounds ($6)." ¶21. (SBU) 27.A-Continued: The Syrian Constitution provides for regulation of working hours. In addition, Decree 27, published in March 2009, and augmented by Decree 108 in December 2009, superseded Decree 81 of 2006 (ref B) by more strictly regulating domestic worker recruitment agencies and providing guidelines for employee contracts. In particular, the new laws mandated that the Prime Minister's office may DAMASCUS 00000172 006 OF 011 revoke any domestic worker employment agency's license if said agency (1) "fails to repatriate domestic workers at its own expense"; (2) "imports domestics under the age of 18"; (3) "imports domestic workers under the pretense of working for people whose identities were faked"; (4) physically abuses, tortures, or exploits the employee; or (5) "practices any type of abuse or discrimination based on race, sex, religion, social class, nationality or any other form of discrimination prohibited by the international conventions in force." ¶22. (SBU) 27.A-Continued: Decree 108 further stipulated that work contracts between a domestic and an employer must be issued by the Ministry of Interior. The contract must then be registered at with the "work injury fund" of the Public Establishment of Social Security. By law, contracts must include language requiring domestics receive a monthly paycheck and employers to assist the domestic in transferring the money abroad if requested to do so. The standard work contract must include provisions for providing domestics with clothing, food, medicine, living quarters, sufficient rest, and a minimum of two weeks' annual leave. In accordance with the decree, the contract must be issued in Arabic and English. ¶23. (SBU) 27.A-Continued: Decree 108 delineated employer obligations to domestic workers, including the hiring of the domestic for no more than three years as specified by Article 2 of Legislative Decree No. 62 from 2007. Any employer violating his/her contractual obligations will be fined 100,000 Syrian pounds ($2,170). The fine is to be doubled if the employer repeats any violation. ¶24. (SBU) 27.B: Decree 3, Article 7 states that anyone convicted of trafficking in persons, whether for forced labor or sexual exploitation, will receive a sentence of no less than seven years and a fine between one to three million Syrian pounds ($21,800 to $65,220). The minimum seven-year sentence may be increased in severe cases, which are defined in Article 8 as trafficking crimes committed (1) against women or children, or against anyone with special needs; (2) through the use or threat of force; (3) by the victim's spouse, a family member, or member of a law enforcement agency; (4) by criminal gangs (i.e. more than one person); or (5) across international boundaries. In addition, Decree 3, Article 5 considers any form of child pornography to be a trafficking crime. ¶25. (SBU) 27.C: Decree 3, Article 7 applies to labor trafficking as well. See para 24.B. See also paras 21-23 for regulations on labor. ¶26. (SBU) 27.D: The General Penal Code of 1949, revised in 1985, outlines penalties for rape and forcible sexual assault. According to Article 489, the minimum sentence for rape or sexual assault of a female is 15 years, or 21 years if the victim is a minor between the ages of 12 and 15. According to Article 491, if the victim is less than 12 years old, the minimum sentence is 15 years' imprisonment. The law states, however, the perpetrator can be absolved of criminal guilt if he agrees to marry the victim. Article 492 stipulates that if the perpetrator is a guardian, relative, or cleric, and the victim is under the age of 18, the punishment is nine years' imprisonment. For kidnapping women, the penalty is three to seven years in prison. The penalty for deflowering a virgin is five years. Article 505 states molestation of a female less than 15 years of age is punishable by 18 months in prison. According to Article 493, the punishment for raping or sexually assaulting a male is a minimum of 12 years in prison, or 18 years if the male is under the age of 15. In the case of a rape or assault leading to the death of a victim, the penalty cannot be less DAMASCUS 00000172 007 OF 011 that 15 years, according to Article 498. ¶27. (SBU) 27.E: Post is unaware of any legal action taken against human traffickers per se. There have been various reports of the government shutting down illegal domestic labor recruitment agencies and brothels, however. ¶28. (SBU) 27.F: Decree 3, Article 18 tasks the Ministry of Interior with developing and executing "special training programs for the personnel involved in combating the crimes of trafficking in persons." These programs have yet to be established. However, IOM is working with the government on a developing a host of training initiatives for lawyers, government officials, and law enforcement personnel. IOM has received funding from both PRM and G/TIP for past and current efforts to assist the SARG on TIP issues. ¶29. (SBU) 27.G: Post was not aware of the government cooperating with other governments in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases during the reporting period. Due to political sensitivities, the SARG would not normally inform other embassies if such cooperation did exist, nor would it publicly announce such actions. We note, however, that in September, Demetris Christofias, President of Cyprus, raised the issue of an illegal ferry between Latakia and Famagusta with President Bashar al-Asad. This ferry is known to transport Syrians seeking employment to Cyprus, where they either remain and work or travel on to European destinations. There was no evidence during the reporting period that this ferry was used for the purposes of trafficking, however. ¶30. (SBU) 27.H: There was no evidence during the reporting period that the government had extradited anyone charged with trafficking in other countries. ¶31. (SBU) 27.I: Anecdotal evidence pointed to low-level cooperation between traffickers and local police elements during the reporting period. In particular, there were stories that police periodically monitored a certain hotel in which Eastern European women were kept locked up during the day to ensure nobody left without permission. The women, some of whom were allegedly in the country on false travel documents, work at a nearby men's club. Contacts alleged the club did not permit on-site nudity or sexual activity, but that the club's proprietor encouraged the female workers to schedule paid-for sexual activities off premises, usually in the "john's" place of residence (hotel or home). ¶29. (SBU) 27.J: The SARG did not identify any government officials involved in human trafficking or any investigations into government officials for said crimes during the reporting period. ¶30. (SBU) 27.K: Syria did not contribute military forces to any international peacekeeping efforts during the reporting period. ¶31. (SBU) 27.L: Anecdotal evidence suggested Syria did receive a small amount of child-sex tourists from Gulf countries, primarily Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. There were no reported prosecutions of foreign nationals on charges related to the crime. There was no evidence that the country's child sexual abuse laws had extraterritorial coverage for the purpose of facilitating prosecution of suspected sex tourists. ------------------------------------ Protection and Assistance to Victims ------------------------------------ ¶32. (SBU) 28.A: Decree 3, Article 14 mandates that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor create shelters to care DAMASCUS 00000172 008 OF 011 for trafficking victims. The article further states that MoSAL will create a budget for said shelters, monitor their administration, and hire qualified individuals to staff them. Article 15 stipulates that the "competent authorities shall take the appropriate precautions to provide protection for the victims of trafficking" and provide them with legal, medical, and psychological counseling in cooperation with public and private organizations. Additionally, the article states that VOTs should not be held in detention facilities inconsistent with their status as victims. Because Decree 3 has yet to be fully implemented, the aforementioned protections have not been fully provided in practice. ¶33. (SBU) 28.B: Though Decree 3 has not been fully implemented, the MoSAL has already worked with IOM and the Association for Women's Role Development (AWRD), a local NGO, on shelters specifically designated for VOTs. In December 2008, IOM in cooperation with MoSAL and AWRD opened a TIP shelter in Damascus. On January 7, 2010, IOM, the Aleppo-based Juvenile Welfare Association for Girls, and MoSAL opened a TIP shelter in Aleppo. These two shelters are both operated by the associated local NGO. These shelters are open to victims regardless of nationality or age. In addition to these shelters, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Convent operate a shelter for women and girls who are TIP victims, as well as victims of domestic violence and homelessness. There were no facilities for male victims of trafficking, and the current TIP shelters are not geared toward serving men. During the reporting period, there were no reports of men being trafficked either for forced labor or sexual exploitation. ¶34. (SBU) 28.C: See para 32 for specific language on legal, medical, and psychological services. Government funding has so far been in the form of donated building space for the two shelters, political cover, and some law enforcement assistance. Authorization for these resources have come from federal and city levels. ¶35. (SBU) 28.D: The government did not provide VOTs with permanent residency status, nor did it offer a formal mechanism for relief from deportation. VOTs may safely remain as temporary residents until such time as return to their country of origin can be arranged. In the past, however, there was anecdotal reports that police arrested potential Iraqi refugee VOTs for prostitution and simply dropped them off at the border. ¶36. (SBU) 28.E: The government did not offer longer-term shelter, housing benefits, or additional resources to VOTs outside those described in paras 28.B and 28C. ¶37. (SBU) 28.F: Decree 3, Article 18 requires the Ministry of Interior to develop the proper procedures for alerting the "competent authorities," both a national and international, to the identity and status of VOTs. The exact policy for how law enforcement and judicial authorities will refer women to shelters had not yet been fully developed at the end of the reporting period. However, the SARG continued to permit the Sisters of the Good Shepherd access to women's detention facilities. If the nuns, our contacts reported, identified women and girls as VOTs, they were usually able to lobby the SARG -- often with assistance from UNHCR and IOM -- to allow these women to be transferred from detention facilities to shelters. ¶38. (SBU) 28.G: Post did not receive any numbers, anecdotal or official, on the number of VOTs during the reporting period. Post does know, however, that in 2009, approximately 21 Asian women who were victims of labor trafficking received SARG assistance in being referred to AWRD's TIP shelter. DAMASCUS 00000172 009 OF 011 ¶39. (SBU) 28.H: The government's law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel did not have a formal system of proactively identifying VOTs at the end of the reporting period. ¶40. (SBU) 28.I: Victims of trafficking were not legally identified as such throughout the reporting period, though with the passage of Decree 3 in January 2010, they soon will be. If arrested for prostitution, the women were detained and, in most cases, deported. If they were not deported, they would be subject to the legal punishments for prostitution. In some cases, embassies and consulates of the victim's country assisted with their return to their home country. ¶41. (SBU) 28.J: Decree 3, Article 16 states that any individual providing information on TIP crimes be shall afforded government protection. Witnesses and experts (and their families) assisting authorities in legal action against perpetrators of TIP crimes should also receive government protection. This article would cover victims cooperating with local law enforcement. There were no accounts during the reporting period of any victims seeking legal redress. ¶42. (SBU) 28.K & L: In January 2008, IOM, with the assistance of the MoSAL and MoI, provided training to judges, lawyers and police on how to recognize and deal with VOTs. There were no reports of Syrian embassies abroad providing assistance to Syrian VOTs, nor did Post receive information on Syrians trafficked abroad and then repatriated. ¶43. (SBU) 28.M: The two main international organizations that confront trafficking issues in Syria are IOM and UNHCR. IOM has received TIP-specific grant funding from a range of donors, including the U.S. and E.U. In terms of U.S. involvement, the largest funder in terms of dollars has been PRM. The two TIP shelters received PRM funds specifically allocated to assist Iraqi VOTs. At the end of the reporting period, no Iraqi VOTs had yet entered the shelters. IOM has administered the PRM funding, which came from a two-phased regional assistance program that began in October 2007. Funding for Phase I amounted to $656,623. Phase II, which began in July 2009, amounted to $215,000. ¶44. (SBU) 28.M-Continued: As stated earlier, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd also assisted VOTs. The Sisters, along with IOM and UNHCR, have observed a slow change in the SARG's attitude toward victims assistance. Due to political sensitivities, the SARG had been reticent to admit any problem existed or to cooperate in any way with NGOs. That has changed over the years, as reflected in the passage of Decree 3. Cooperation has now generally improved and the SARG has proven a reliable, though not leading, partner in providing protection to VOTs. ---------- Prevention ---------- ¶45. (SBU) 29.A: There were no government-initiated anti-trafficking information or educational campaigns during the reporting period. ¶46. (SBU) 29.B: The government had not begun monitoring immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking at the end of the reporting period. ¶47. (SBU) 29.C: Decree 3 required the Ministry of Interior to develop a mechanism for coordination and communication between relevant agencies, both local and international, on DAMASCUS 00000172 010 OF 011 TIP matters. Article 17 of the law directed the MoI to establish a Department of Combating Trafficking in Persons to be comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds, both military and civilian. The article did not specifically state the department should have an "inter-agency" character. ¶48. (SBU) 29.D: The government was in the process of developing a national plan of action, per requirements of Decree 3, at the end of the reporting period. The government is consulting with IOM and UNHCR on how best to develop and implement said plan. ¶49. (SBU) 29.E: The SARG took no specific actions to reduce the demand for sex acts beyond prosecuting prostitutes, johns, and brothel proprietors. ¶50. (SBU) 29.F: There was no evidence the government took specific measures during the reporting period to reduce the participation in international child sex tourism by Syrian nationals, or that Syrian nationals were involved in child sex tourism. ------------ Partnerships ------------ ¶51. (SBU) 30.A: The government partnered -- formally or informally -- with IOM, UNHCR, AWRD, the Juvenile Welfare Association for Girls, and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd to focus attention and resources to addressing human trafficking. Please see previous relevant paras for details. ¶52. (SBU) 30.B: There was no evidence the government provided any kind of international assistance to other countries to address TIP during the reporting period. ---------- TIP Heroes ---------- ¶53. (SBU) Laila Tomeh: No single person has done more in the last few years to effect positive change in Syrian political thinking about how to combat TIP that Laila Tomeh. Tomeh, a National Program Officer for IOM in Damascus was one of the country's leading advocates and organizational strategists on how Syrian legislative reform should address TIP and the illegal recruitment of domestic labor. Tomeh has led dozens of conferences and workshops for Syrian lawyers, members of parliament, NGOs, and civil society activists aimed at raising consciousness on TIP issues that were, in the past, almost never publicly discussed. In 2005, Tomeh helped develop a training seminar on how to draft TIP legislation that ultimately led to Syria's passage in January 2010 of the country's first comprehensive anti-TIP law. ¶54. (SBU) Tomeh Continued: In a constrained social and political environment, Tomeh proved herself able to navigate governmental and public sector boundaries and get on-the-ground results. Indeed, in helping open the country's first-ever shelter for VOTs, Tomeh helped mentor the fledgling Association for Women's Role Development, a local NGO that had no prior experience with shelter administration. She, along with her IOM colleagues, won support from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor for the project, convincing the ministry to donate a building for the shelter. The results were dramatic. Not only did the TIP shelter open in December 2008, but the government donated another site in Aleppo for a second shelter, which opened under the guidance of IOM in 2010. ¶55. (SBU) Tomeh Continued: Tomeh has been an excellent DAMASCUS 00000172 011 OF 011 contact for the U.S. Embassy on TIP-related issues. She subtly lobbied her working-level contacts in the MFA and MoSAL on the value of meeting U.S. government officials. As a result, both the MFA and MoSAL granted meetings on TIP with Emboffs in 2009 to discuss the Department's 2009 TIP report and Syria's progress on passing anti-TIP legislation. Tomeh's ingenuity, passion, and integrity helped Embassy Damascus crack open a door with the government that might have otherwise remained shut due to Syrian sensitivities on the topic. ¶56. (SBU) Daad Musa: Lawyer and women's rights and civil society activist Daad Musa has been one of Damascus's leading figures in the fight to provide assistance to VOTs. Even though her civil society activism has brought unwanted governmental scrutiny and undermined her ability to find regular work as a lawyer and also resulted in a travel ban, Musa perseveres in her service for VOTs with little regard for her own privations. ¶57. (SBU) Musa Continued: Musa provides legal counsel and organizational expertise to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, who administer Syria's first-ever women's shelter. She does the same for a CARITAS shelter close to the Syrian-Lebanese border. These shelters are open to all women, but in recent years have increasingly addressed themselves toward alleviating the suffering of Iraqi victims of trafficking, forced prostitution, and domestic violence. For the past six months, Musa has worked with UNRWA to set up domestic violence hotlines at both the Dar'a and Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camps. ¶58. (SBU) Musa Continued: An organizational force of nature, Musa has worked closely with the U.S. Embassy to recruit women to participate in International Visitor Programs focused on best practices in combating TIP and in shelter administration. In September 2009, the Embassy sent a group of women to the U.S. on an IVP that Musa had recruited, shepherded through the application process, and provided pre-departure training on what to expect in the U.S. Musa is herself an IVP alumna and has used her training, in conjunction with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, to launch and manage Syria's first 24-hour help-line for women in need. HUNTERShow header
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