The following letter was shared by Caesar with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum as part of our anniversary event marking ten years of mass atrocities against civilians in Syria. In 2011, after Syrians began protesting the brutal regime of President Bashar al Assad, Caesar, a Syrian military photographer, was called on to photograph men, women, and children who were tortured and starved by their own government. Caesar smuggled out 55,000 photographs on thumb drives to show the world the evidence of the Syrian government’s torture machine. Caesar took the photographs to the US Congress in 2014, but the Assad regime’s widespread and indiscriminate torture and killing continue today. Caesar is now in hiding, fearing for his life because of the truth he told.
Ladies and gentlemen of the audience and to the entire world,
Is it not enough for ten years to pass of oppression and the killing, the detentions, the torture and the displacement of a peaceful nation that is hardworking, patient, and loving of the entire world?
And their only fault was that children in a small town wanted to express what they heard from the adults: freedom, dignity. These are the words that they heard from the grownups and they loved these words, but they did not live them.
They wrote them on the walls and in return, the regime wrote “Assad or we burn the country” on their innocent bodies and indeed we all saw how this regime burned the rocks and the trees and the humans. I beg of you, do not leave these peaceful people under this criminal regime that lives on their blood and takes joy in their torture. You must know something: the Caesar Law is not enough. Assad and his regime must go forever.
And long live Syria and the Syrian people because they deserve freedom, and dignity. And thank you all.