A Statement from the Residents of al-Houla
A Statement from the Residents of al-Houla in Response to Rainer Hermann’s Article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
al-Houla’s Media Office
A statement from the residents of al-Houla, families of the victims of the massacre, and survivors in response to an article published by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which claimed falsely and deceitfully that the victims of the massacre were individuals of the Alawite sect and that they were killed by the Free Syrian Army in al-Houla.
We write this letter in the name of the residents of al-Houla Township with its four hamlets (Taldo, Kfarlaha, Taldahab, and al-Tayeba al-Gharbiya) in response to the disgusting fabrication that was published in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung last week. This German newspaper presented a collection of lies in a report written by the journalist Rainer Hermann, which was published on 7th June 2012. The newspaper attempted through this report to promote lies, which it offered as the truth. It depicted the 108 martyrs of the massacre, who were killed by forces loyal to the regime, as conspirators instead of victims. Since this horrendous massacre was committed about one month ago, several journalists of different nationalities and different media outlets have called us looking for the truth. None of us remembers receiving a call from any German or non-German journalist who works for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Surely, we have not received any call from the journalist Rainer Hermann.
The least that can be said of the allegations brought up in the report, which states that the victims belong to the honorable Alawite sect and that they were killed by members of the Free Army, is that they are silly. Any observer of Syrian affairs will recognize that al-Houla with its four hamlets (Taldo, Kfarlaha, Taldahab, and al-Tayeba al-Gharbiya) are entirely Sunni. Hence it is beyond question that all families that lost members in this massacre are Sunni.
We call any person who is naïve enough to doubt these facts to have a look at the Sunni burial rituals that can be seen in the YouTube videos of the funeral.
We would like also to assert that the Free Syrian Army is an essential component in al-Houla: they are our sons, brothers, fathers, and uncles. Any journalist who assumes them to be the evil ones is either blind or a liar.
To conclude, we declare without any reservation that this journalist has not spoken to any resident of al-Houla before he wrote his disgusting report from Damascus. If by any chance he had spoken to anyone, then he must have spoken to the regime’s collaborators in an attempt to mislead public opinion and promote the lies he made up. Nevertheless, in spite of the pain he re-awakened in our community, and in spite of the disgrace he brought to himself and his newspaper, we invite him to visit our town to meet the massacre survivors and get to know the community that he defamed, and we guarantee his safety from the understandable anger of local residents.