ISIL dissenter confirms death of Father Paulo in Syria’s Raqqa

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Father Paulo. File photo

ARA News

Nusaybin, Turkey Abdulkarim al-Rihawi, the head of the Syrian Assembly for Human Rights, issued a statement on Monday confirming receiving information “from a source dissented from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)”. The information says that the Italian Jesuit priest “Father Paulo Dall’Oglio was executed by one of ISIL leaders in Raqqa two hours following his arrest, July 29, 2013”.

In his testimony to the Syrian Assembly for Human Rights, Abu Mohammad al-Suri, one of ISIL dissenters, said that Father Paulo had arrived in Raqqa city on 28 July 2013 and participated in the evening protest that day and met many revolutionary activists. “Father Paulo also asked to meet ISIL’s local leader there to mediate on releasing foreign journalists arrested by the group, but the leader refused. On the second day, Father Paulo insisted on meeting other leaders of ISIL so he was taken to Raqqa province palace, the base of ISIL, where leaders ordered to put him in jail immediately,” al-Suri said.

According to al-Suri, “the Saudi ISIL leaders, Kassab and Khallad al-Jezrawi, met Father Paulo two hours following his arrest, then Kassab executed him by firing fourteen bullets from a 9mm pistol”.

The Syrian Assembly for Human Rights asserted: “Though we depend basically on the testimony of Abu Mohamad al-Suri about the execution of Father Paulo, we have previous identical information about the destiny of the Italian Jesuit priest. These testimonies are credible and dependable, especially that the witness is ready for a public testimony before an international inquiry committee.”

In this regard, the legal activist Hamad al-Jibouri told ARA News: “We are not that surprised with the news of Father Paulo’s execution by ISIL; we are used to the crimes committed by ISIL militants. These crimes are gifts from ISIL to its lords in Qerdaha (the birthplace of al-Assad family) and Tehran to show the latter as fighters to the universal terrorism before the International Community.”

“If the execution of Father Paulo is true, it will be a gift to the regime in its farcical (presidential) elections (planned on June 2) to intimidate Christians and urge them to fully participate in the election process, on one hand, and push the International Community to recognize it (the presidential elections), on the other,” al-Jibouri told ARA News.

Father Paulo Dall’Oglio is an Italian Jesuit priest who came to Syria and lived in Mar Musa monastery in al-Qalamoun region (80 km north of capital Damascus). He started restoring the monastery in 1984. He was well known for his strongly clear attitudes against the “military repression practised by the Syrian regime”, which urged the ecclesiastic authorities to ask him to leave Syria. He then left to Iraqi Kurdistan, but came back to Syria at the end of July 2013.

 

Source: ARA News

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