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Sunday 21 June 2015

The MEPs who want to hide Assad’s crimes from public view – UPDATED

UPDATE: This decision has been reversed. The European Parliament is hosting a public exhibition of Caesar photographs, 13-16 July. Details here.

These are the College of Quaestors, a body of five MEPs at the European Parliament. They are blocking an exhibition of photographs of Syrian torture victims.

The exhibition organisers had hoped to show a selection of photographs from the 55,000 images smuggled out of Syria by the defector known as ‘Caesar’ in the parliament’s public exhibition space for a period of five days. Instead the MEPs’ decision means the photographs can only be shown for one day in a small conference room.

Both the UN in New York and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC have publicly shown photographs from the collection.

This month Vanity Fair published an in-depth report on the story behind the Caesar photographs, Documenting Evil: Inside Assad’s Hospitals of Horror, by Adam Ciralsky.

A rising number of Syrians are now making incredibly dangerous journeys to reach Europe, risking their lives to bypass the obstacles that European border policies have placed in their way. In Greece, tens of thousands have arrived this year alone. European politicians need to understand the reasons driving so many Syrians to flee. They need to see these images. To hide them away would show a dreadful moral cowardice.

The Syria Campaign have a letter you can send to Mr Martin Schultz, President of the European Parliament, via their website.

You can also write to the five MEPs of the College of Quaestors, or contact them on Twitter:

And you can email your own MEPs: Find UK MEPs here.

Earlier posts on the Caesar photographs: Whistleblowers, and Let’s talk about Crime.