Senator calls on Obama administration to stop UN from letting Assad regime censor aid plans

BuzzFeed reports: Sen. Bob Casey has told the Obama administration he is “appalled” that the United Nations allowed the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to censor parts of a humanitarian aid plan, in a letter being sent to the State Department on Thursday and obtained in advance by BuzzFeed News.

The letter follows reporting by BuzzFeed News last week that the U.N. had changed parts of a humanitarian aid plan for Syria after consulting with the Assad regime, removing the words “besieged” and “sieged,” references to a de-mining program, and references to violations of international law.

The censorship came to light after revelations of extreme starvation in the Syrian town of Madaya, which has been besieged by regime forces.

Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, is urging the State Department to “insist that UN-produced assessments and humanitarian aid plans accurately reflect conditions on the ground, not the political concerns of the Assad regime.” Casey’s letter, addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, states that he is “appalled” by the reports that the Assad regime was allowed to censor parts of the document, which lays out a $3.1 billion aid plan. [Continue reading…]

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