Syrian monitors' mission 'a farce'
Arab League observers in Syria have come under fresh scrutiny after a former monitor called their mission a "farce."
League observers are inside the country to assess whether the government is abiding by its agreement to a plan to end the 10-month-old military crackdown on dissent.
"The mission was a farce and the observers have been fooled," Anwer Malek told Al-Jazeeray. "The regime orchestrated it and fabricated most of what we saw to stop the Arab League from taking action against the regime."
Mr Malek was an observer who quit the mission in disgust. There was no immediate comment from the Arab League.
Mr Malek's was sent to Syria in late December. He is Tunisian who works for the Paris-based Arab Committee for Human Rights.
The Arab League said three observers refused to complete their mission and returned, citing health problems.
Opposition groups have been deeply critical of the League mission, saying it is giving president Bashar Assad cover for his ongoing crackdown. The observer mission's Sudanese chief has raised particular concern because he served in key security positions under Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for crimes against humanity in Darfur.
Critics also say the mission is far too small - and too dependent on government escorts - to be effective. The regime says the escorts are vital to the monitors' personal safety.
Meanwhile the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported fresh violence in Syria. The group said soldiers and army defectors were fighting in central Hama province. There was no immediate word on casualties.
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Plenty of Fish dating site founder pulls 'Intimate Encounters' option to ward off sleazy men
Oklahoma tornado: Rescue effort nears an end as authorities say they are confident there are no bodies or survivors left in the rubble
Video emerges of Pope Francis reportedly performing an exorcism
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 Swedes set up 'ultimate Viking movie'
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Negotiable: Orgtel: SAS BI Content Developer - Bristol - Up to £370/day! Our C...
£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Manchester Primary: Long term School Adm...
£35000 - £55000 per annum + Bonus & Relocation: Progressive Recruitment: Our c...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: We are seeking to recruit enthusiastic...