UK Politics

Protester insists Bashar al-Assad is a good man because hes a doctor


jen mills

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There are plenty of good reasons to oppose Britains airstrikes on Syria… But most arent convinced by this particular womans reasoning.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is accused of war crimes against his own people, including a chemical attack on April 7 which killed dozens.

But he has a passionate defender here, who insisted: Hes a doctor, for heavens sake! Do you think he goes around killing Syrian people?

She was part of a small group marching in support of Assad today – a minority among thousands marching in London and elsewhere to protest the UK joining the US and France in airstrikes, which MPs did not get to vote on.

Stop The War posted on Twitter that her views in no way represent those of Stop The War UK.

Protester insists Bashar al-Assad is a good man because 'he's a doctor'
Hes a doctor! (Picture: ITV)

Tonight's Stop the War demo in Westminster contains a mix of many views:
– Those who think bombing never helps
– Those who think the PM should have asked MPs first
– But also, those who think Assad is a 'good man' because 'he's a doctor'.

— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) April 16, 2018

Interviewer Paul Brand, from ITV, added: Just to stress that this particular protester was among a group of around 20-30 people I came across who were supporting Assad, he said.


There may have been others, but many at the rally were also there to condemn him and all violence, especially the UK/US/French bombing at the weekend.

With that pointed out, heres how the interview went:

You believe Assad over Theresa May?

I do, yes.

You believe a murderer over the prime minister of Britain?

Hes not a murderer, hes the president of a country for gods sake!

He hasnt murdered anyone?

Personally, no. But Theresa May gave the order to bomb Syria without anyones say-so.

Is President Assad responsible for the deaths in Syria of his own people?

No hes not! The opposition is. And Britain is, and France is, and America is.

Is President Assad he good person?

Yes, he is a good person. Hes a very good man.

And hes a doctor for heavens sake! Do you think he goes around killing Syrian people?

(President Assad trained as a doctor in Damascus before coming to London to specialise in ophthalmology. He returned to Syria to succeed his father as president.)

Marches across the UK

People gathered in cities across Britain to condemn the violence in Syria today – including from president Assad – so this woman was an outlier.

It came after the prime minister faced questions in the House of Commons over her decision to bypass parliament when ordering bombing.

Jeremy Corbyn accused her of having fragile legal justification for the move, given it was not in self defence or authorised by the UN. It also breaks with convention on MPs being given a vote on military action in past decades.

Here are some of the photos from the protests today:

I was speaking at the @STWuk demo on the atrocities that our dangerous government has caused in Syria. Theres been no vote in Parliament and no analysis of the alternatives. @TheGreenParty say stop the continue flow of arms to the region, no bombs on Syria, and support refugees.

— Amelia Womack (@Amelia_Womack) April 16, 2018

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