The true story of Hamza al-Khateeb’s death belies media fabrications
A report by the Syrian Television broadcast on Tuesday unveiled the truth about the story of martyr Hamza al-Khateeb, closing the door in the face of the lies and false accounts of the satellite channels and websites which badly used al-Khateeb’s pictures over days to serve their purposes.
The report started with showing how in April 29th after Friday Prayer, people began to gather in some villages of Daraa countryside responding to inciting calls for Jihad, which were taken advantage of by armed groups to attack army, police and security forces and citizens, and set off toward the military housing compound in Said area where al-Khateeb was martyred.
“At that time, armed members showed up among the crowd and succeeded in misleading many young children into going with them to fire at the compound’s guards whose chief was martyred,” said the report.
It continued that al-Khateeb, who was found killed in the surrounding of the compound and still unidentified then, was transferred to hospital among the victims.
“At a late hour on Friday 29/4/2011, we were informed by the Coronary Department that body for unidentified boy was in the hospital,” said Samer Abbas, the judge in charge of the case.
Abbas added that after all the medical and legal procedures were taken and once the body was identified as Hamza al-Khateeb’s, it was handed over to the martyr’s family through the National Hospital in Daraa on May 21, 2011.
“Since I am the one who undertook the investigation and the medical check up, I came to know that al-Khateeb died while he was inside the military compound’s surrounding from several gunshots without any traces of torture on the body,” said judge Abbas, pointing out that al-Khateeb’s family can come and know all the details they want.
Coroner Akram al-Shaar who checked al-Khateeb’s body pointed out that after the body reached the hospital on April 29th, a legal commission including the judge and the coroner came to identify the body whose owner’s name was not known.
“A precise description of the body showed it belongs to a plump young man in his twenties,” said al-Shaar, adding that the body had three deadly gunshots which were the reason behind the death as proven by the x-ray photography and the examination of the gunshot muzzle wounds on the body.
“There weren’t any traces of violence, resistance or torture or any kinds of bruises, fractures, joint displacements or cuts,” the coroner pointed out, indicating that there period between the check and the handover of the dead body to his family was required for the identification.
Al-Shaar affirmed that the photos of the body which appeared by some channels and news agencies were taken after an advanced stage of disintegration after death which can be detected by any coroner through different manifestations on the body.
He pointed out that the photos taken by the Coronary Department, however, were new as they were taken immediately upon the arrival of the body which was only few hours after death.
The TV report continued to tell the truth about the story as told by the participants in the attack on Saida military housing compound.
Abdel Aziz al-Khateeb, one of the participants, told in detail how “I used to go with my friends Hamza al-Khateeb, Abdel Majeed al-Khateeb and Mohammed Sweidan to perform Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque in al-Jizah led by sheikh Haroon al-Zoubi and Talal Shkeir who were calling for Jihad.”
“We were holding meetings at al-Jizah Square to protect the participants in Friday gatherings in coordination with other sheikhs from other villages. There was a blacksmith who distributed sharp arms to us,” al-Khateeb added.
“On Friday, April 29th, I joined Hamza al-Khateeb and Mohammad Sweidan and Abdel Majeed al-Khateeb to the gathering place where we met other people from al-Mseifra and Bosra. We headed to the military residences in Saida accompanied by armed men. As we reached there, some demonstrators opened fire toward the compound injuring one soldier. Later, there was a heavy fire exchange and we had to hide behind trees,” al-Khateeb said.
He added that Hamza al-Khateeb was among the injured people. “He fell to the ground and I didn’t know what happened to him. I fled with Abdel Majeed al-Khateeb and Mohammad Sweidan.”
President Bashar al-Assad met the family of Hamza al-Khateeb on Tuesday afternoon and offered them condolences before discussing the death issue in detail.
Father of the martyr said President al-Assad was so “gentle and kind”, adding that the President promised to fulfill the people’s demands and make necessary reforms that serve the interests of the Syrian citizens.
Hamza’s father noted that it was President al-Assad who invited Hamza’s family to listen to them about their son’s death.
For his part, the martyr’s uncle said we received the body from Daraa National Hospital, stressing what has been showed is all proven and based on the coroner’s report written at the Attorney General.
He added that President al-Assad during the meeting stressed forming a committee to investigate the incident to reach the truth.
Professor of media psychology at Damascus University, Majdi Fares, said the incident of al-Khateeb’s death was used by some satellite channels and media in a biased way for misleading purposes through lies and fabrications.
In the same context, Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar issued a decision on forming an investigation committee chaired by Assistant Interior Minister to uncover the circumstances of the incident and reveal the results to the public opinion. The committee will start its mission today.
Concluding the report, the Syrian TV said the information which has been presented shows the fact that Hamza al-Khateeb has never been jailed or arrested recently.