[Marxism] Syrian writer: Robert Fisk is indoctrinated by Syrian regime

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Sep 4 15:15:46 MDT 2012


Syrian writer: Robert Fisk is indoctrinated by Syrian regime
Mohammed Saad, Tuesday 4 Sep 2012

Yassin Al-Haj Saleh, who spent 16 years as a political prisoner in 
Syria, says that the imprisonment conditions in Syria are very different 
to those portrayed by British journalist Fisk in a recent newspaper article

Syrian writer and thinker Yassin Al-Haj Saleh has vehemently criticised 
British journalist Robert Fisk, who is the Middle East correspondent of 
the British daily The Independent, for the image that he portrayed of 
Syrian political prisons in an article published on Sunday, 2 September, 
titled 'Syria's road from jihad to prison'.

Yassin accused Fisk, who visited Syria this week, of being 
"indoctrinated"; his article portrays the intelligence officers at one 
of Syria’s most notorious military prison as friendly, agreeing to leave 
Fisk alone with the prisoners, who Fisk describes as "Islamic jihadists."

"Fisk reflected this view of the political prisons because he was just 
too embedded in the events, and couldn't see the wider vision; he was 
indoctrinated," Yassin told Ahram Online from Syria.

Yassin, who spent 16 years in military prisons in Syria, says that 
Fisk's description is not related to the facts on the ground.

"He visited a prison where all the detainees he met were extremist 
jihadists who came to Syria from Algeria and Turkey to make big 
explosions, and when intelligence agencies arrest them, they do not 
torture them as we may expect. One of them told Fisk that he’s fine, and 
thanks god for that; another one said that he was tortured for only one 
day," commented Yassin.

"The detainees are Salafist jihadists and yet the officer leaves Fisk 
alone to interview them freely." Yassin added, marking the friendly 
behaviour that Fisk asserted he witnessed from the guards.

"Personally, I was jailed for 16 years, for minor charges. The 
imprisonment conditions were worse; no Western or local journalist could 
ever have visited me nor any human rights activists. This applies to 
everyone who was arrested during the revolution, the thing that Fisk 
never revealed," Saleh argued.

The only explanation of the access Fisk got to the prisons is that the 
Syrian regime guaranteed that Fisk isn’t going to reflect this negative 
image, and made their arrangements with Fisk, who has allowed himself to 
be misled, according to Saleh.

Saleh, 51, is a Syrian thinker, writer and former political prisoner, 
and spent 16 years in the Syrian regime’s prisons during the 1980s and 
1990s. He is a regular contributor to various Arabic newspapers and 
periodicals, including a weekly column in Al-Hayat newspaper.

He published two books after he was released from prison in 1997, 'Syria 
from the shadow: Glimpses inside the black box' and 'Myths of the 
others: Criticising contemporary Islam and criticising its criticism.'

His latest book, released last July, titled 'Salvation boys: 16 years in 
Syrian prisons', narrates his time in detention in Syria.

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