Van de week schreef ik al over de conferentie die gehouden was in Damascus, met deelname van zo’n 200 Syrische politiek onafhankelijke intellectuelen. De volledige slotverklaring is nu beschikbaar in het Engels, zie hieronder. Ook is er een Arabische Facebook-pagina van de conferentie met alle Arabische documenten, incl. de inleidende presentaties van Louay Hussein en Hassan Abbas.
For our country that we love, we the citizens, intellectuals, thinkers and national figures who met on June 27, 2011 at the Hotel Semiramis – Damascus, we pledge to remain part of the peaceful uprising of the Syrian people for freedom, democracy, pluralism, and establishing a democratic, civil state in a peaceful and safe way. We declare our rejection of recourse to military means to resolve the deep structural political crisis facing Syria, and we reject and condemn any speech and behavior that discriminates between Syrians on a sectarian, ideological, or racial basis. We pledge not to be implicated with any party who is trying to provoke this strife between us. We shall confront it with a culture of tolerance and justice in a civilized peaceful manner. We also reject any calls to internationalize the Syrian situation and we condemn external interference in Syria’s internal affairs. We call to put first and foremost the national interest, and citizens’ freedom above all other interests to be able to foster a free, democratic, secure and united country for generations to come.
Long live Syria in freedom and democracy,
Participants at the consultative meeting
Damascus June 27, 2011
The first consultative meeting held in Damascus on 27-6-2011 gathered cultural and social figures who represent a cross-section of Syrian society. The national anthem of the Syrian Arab Republic opened the meeting, followed by a moment of silence to honor the lives of the martyrs of freedom, both civilian and military. In a notable presence of media representatives, an opening speech was delivered. The conference discussed three working papers: the first on the current situation; the second on a civil and democratic state; and the third on the role of intellectuals and activists in the current situation. Discussions also tackled issues raised by participants related to the crisis that is facing Syria today. The conference ended with the adoption of the following demands:
1- To support the peaceful popular uprising seeking a peaceful transition to a democratic, civil and pluralistic state which ensures political, cultural and social rights and freedoms for all Syrians and ensures justice and equality for all citizens regardless of ethnicity, religion or sex.
2- To halt the choice for a security approach and withdraw security forces from cities, towns and villages; along with the establishment of an independent and credible committee to investigate the killings of protestors and military forces.
3- To provide guarantees for the freedom of peaceful protest, without prior official approval, and to ensure the safety of protesters.
4- To release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience and those arrested during the recent events, without any exception.
5- To abandon media mobilization by any side and demand that the national official and semi-official media not discriminate between citizens but allow both regime supporters and the opposition to express their opinion and position freely.
6- To reject all kinds of sectarian incitement or incitement against certain districts and instead emphasize the unity of the Syrian people.
7- To ensure a safe and dignified return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes while respecting their rights and compensating their losses.
8- To denounce any policies, practices or calls by any side that encourage, facilitate or call for external intervention in any form. We are of the opinion that the ongoing military operations will precipitate such external interventions
9- To allow Arab and international media to freely cover events and developments in Syria.
10- To organize similar meetings in the different governorates through the permanent coordination committee constituted at this meeting.
Finally, the participants are not in confrontation or competition with any of the democratic opposition movements and thus call upon others to join forces and coordinate action with the popular movement on the streets to ensure peaceful and democratic transition in Syria that fulfills the aspirations of the Syrian people.