03:50 GMT +310 December 2019
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    That Horrible Assad! BILD Newspaper's Image 'Shows How German Propaganda Works'

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    Das BILD's decision to release a controversial image of a suffering Syrian child is a "mean attempt" to manipulate the public opinion, German journalist Karin Leukefeld wrote for Sputnik, commenting on the newspaper's recent publication that deeply shocked her.

    The editor-in-chief of the German newspaper Das Bild, Julian Reichelt, published in his newsletter a photo that depicts a Syrian nurse with a seriously ill or possibly even dead child in her arms.

    The picture is accompanied by text: "Assad the Dictator continues to wage war against his own people."

    German political observer Karin Leukefeld reacted to the publication by saying that this is an example of how the German propaganda machine works.

    Bashar al-Assad, the ruler of power, is leading his inexorable war against his own people.
    © Photo : BILD
    "Bashar al-Assad, the ruler of power, is leading his inexorable war against his own people."

    In fact, the image that was taken in the village of Hamuria located 17 kilometers from Damascus has little to do with the Syrian leader himself, but is rather associated with the hostilities of the terrorist groups that have the village under control, the lack of medical care and the passivity of the West, the journalist noted.

    Since 2012, Hamuria has been occupied by several radical armed groups. The settlement is currently under control of Islamist group Faylaq al-Rahman. The overwhelming majority of the civilian population fled the city and is now living in Damascus or its suburbs, but those who stayed have to live without proper medical care and in constant fear for their lives.

    "There is no shortage of weapons, ammunition and insurgents in the besieged territories. But the situation with medicaments and food is the opposite. The fact is that countless children have died and are dying all over Syria…. People were and are starving in all parts of the country. And they can't get help — not least because of Western sanctions, which become increasingly tough — and Germany is also responsible for this," Leukefeld wrote.

    Moreover, the analyst stressed that, according to international humanitarian law, this photo couldn't be published at all as "distributing pictures of weak, defenseless, sick or dead people for the purpose of propaganda is forbidden."

    In Leukefeld's opinion, especially "disgusting" is the fact that the German newspaper's Editor-in-Chief Julian Reichelt used an innocent child to impose his point of view.

    "This child can't prevent all this," the journalist wrote, adding that readers who see the photo and read the short text won't ask themselves whether the child is sick and how they might be able to help him, but rather they'll put the blame for this child's fate on the Syrian president.

    Leukefeld noted that Reichelt's main goal was to "evoke feelings of hatred and hostility," adding that his message was a clear example of propaganda that "must be included into the curriculum for beginning journalists."

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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