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On Syria, OHCHR Didn't See Any Reason to Ask Who Paid for Study Ascribed To It

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 13 -- So who paid for the Syria death toll study released by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on June 13?

  Both the authors of the report at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville have told Inner City Press that HRDAG worked "pro bono."

  HRDAG's Patrick Ball went further, telling Inner City Press, "We did the work pro bono because doing analysis of this kind is the mission for which we receive support from our donors."

  But who are the donors? There is an "anonymous US-based private foundation." Ball declined to disclose who it is, so Inner City Press asked Colville if the UN even knows. He replied:

"Donors have a right to remain anonymous if they want to. If we felt there was something going wrong with the way statistical analysis is being handled, we might ask questions on that -- but we don't any reason to."

  How could that be -- especially since Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky at noon said that OHCHR reported there had been 93,000 deaths, how could OHCHR say it didn't see any reason to ask who paid for the study? There are other questions outstanding.

  For now, consider that the HRDAG report concludes that "the content of this analysis does not necessary reflect the opinion on OHCHR" -- but Reuters headline was "U.N. says 93,000 killed in Syrian conflict, fears for Aleppo" and they called it a "UN report."

  That is -- a UN report that the UN , when asked, doesn't even know who paid for. Watch this site.

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