Nobel Peace Prize: Syrians ask ‘What peace?’ As deaths continue
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Friday 11 October 2013
The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the watchdog overseeing the destruction of Syria’s chemical stockpile came amid a flurry of anger, with many Syrians incredulous that the prize could be awarded to the organisation so soon after chemical weapons were used against civilians in the country.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was yesterday honoured by the Nobel committee for its “extensive work to eliminate chemical weapons”, as a team of inspectors continued working in Damascus under a UN resolution to demolish chemical arsenal production equipment by 1 November, following an attack widely blamed on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
One Syrian Twitter user described the situation as a “farce” while others accused the organisation and the wider Western world of standing back to watch “civilians [be] gassed to death”.
Another Syrian, named Faress, described the event as: “International Community wins Nobel Complicity Prize for allowing Assad to mass murder Syrians.”
Louay Safi, a senior figure in Syria’s main opposition bloc, warned that giving the Nobel prize to the OPCW was premature.
“If this prize gives the impression that the chemical weapons inspections in Syria will help foster peace, then it’s a wrong perception,” Mr Safi told the Associated Press. “Many more people are dying because Assad’s troops are killing them with all types of conventional weapons.”
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