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On Syria Chemical Weapons, Sellstrom Says Zamalka Range 2 Km, Video Popova's

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 13 -- The day after Åke Sellström handed his second and final report on Syria chemical weapons to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, he appeared to take press questions.

Inner City Press asked him and fellow panelists Scott Cairns of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and Dr. Maurizio Barbeschi of the World Health Organization three questions:

1) to estimate the range of the rockets fired on Zamalka, 2) to respond to allegations that the rocket they examined in Moadamiya was filmed elsewhere, and 3) if the video they reviewed about Khan al Asal was that of Russian journalist Anastasia Popova.

Sellstrom confirmed it was Popova's -- click here for Inner City Press' previous coverage -- and said he wasn't aware of allegations that the rocket they examined in Moadamiya was filmed elsewhere (see sample YouTube here).

On Zamalka, he offered a range of two kilometers, but said it is unclear as to how much it weighed and what it was filled with.

Later, Maurizio Barbeschi of WHO said that the UN Human Rights Council could be a venue to rule on WHO used chemical weapons. Angela Kane cites as other precedents the inquiry into the killing of Benazir Bhutto and the Hariri Tribunal.
  Kane said if a private lawyer asked for the samples to sue, she would have to consult the UN Legal Counsel. Inner City Press notes that this UN Counsel refused to even accept service of court papers about the UN bringing cholera into Haiti, killing more than 8000 people.

Some marveled that there has been no mechanism at all on the killing of 40,000 civilians in Sri Lanka in 2009. Rights Up Front? Only sometimes, in some cases. Watch this site.


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