The extended cut of @BBCRadion4´s Mayday – The Evidence Gatherers is now available online.

Listen to the longform version for @chloehadj´s full account of CIJA´s probe into the #Syria Disinformation Campaign:…
In Dec 2020, CIJA Executive Director Bill Wiley received an email from Prof Paul McKeigue of @EdinburghUni, a member of the “Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and the Media” – the same group that had targeted the White Helmets, Mayday and its founder, James Le Mesurier.
The email indicated that the Working Group was preparing a report on CIJA, but “it was obvious that this group had no interest in the facts” CIJA Director @NermaJelacic tells @chloehadj
The Working Group has a long track record of spreading misinformation about groups gathering evidence of Syrian regime war crimes, including the White Helmets and the OPCW. It also has a playbook: discredit the individuals behind the effort to discredit the evidence they collect.
“The indisputable fact is that he was hounded into a place of great emotional and mental distress – and he didn’t deserve that” Bill Wiley reflecting on the devastating impact the Working Group´s misinformation tactics had on James Le Mesurier
“I think it had a lot to do with James being dead and now: let´s get after the next highest profile group, which would be CIJA. If you are working down the list to the next perceived threat, then CIJA would definitely be next on the list after that” - Bill Wiley
“Those who fear CIJA´s cache of evidence might be used against them are right to be worried.” says @chloehadj in the episode
CIJA-collected evidence has already been ruled admissible in five court cases, including the #AlKhatib trial in #Koblenz, Germany, and is routinely shared with and trusted by 37 law enforcement partners across Europe and North America:…
“Invariably, in modern conflicts, you need a mass totality of documentation and other forms of evidence to arrive at the full picture.”

CIJA has collected over one million Syrian Regime documents linking high-level perpetrators to systematic war crimes committed on the ground.
“We need to protect the systems that hold this evidence in place. And you can only protect it, if the people around it are protected.” - @NermaJelacic on CIJA´s obligation to protect its archive and personnel
“CIJA decided to create a small team to understand what information precisely the Working Group had that would pose a threat to the physical security of our personnel and by extension their families; and how they proposed to attempt to destroy CIJA reputationally” – Bill Wiley
“This wasn’t some kind of a revenge operation; it was entirely driven by a concern for our security and ultimately our findings justified those concerns” – Bill Wiley

Read CIJA´s official statement on the probe and its key findings here:…
CIJA found that McKeigue had received highly sensitive information from an ex-CIJA consultant including “a great many names of personnel as well as their children and extended family members and their locations”.
CIJA also found that individual Working Group members coordinate with Russian diplomats and are in contact with the Syrian regime.
“The first thought was: while the Working Group may not publish individual personal details, that information is with them now and we know that they coordinate with other actors. These are the people that are dangerous, will they share that information: why not?!” - @NermaJelacic
McKeigue assuming that he was corresponding with an agent of the Russian state asked for damaging information on those he called “narrative enforcers”: academics, lawyers, NGO workers and journalists working to expose Syrian regime war crimes, including @chloegahj herself
“This goes beyond CIJA; it is wider than CIJA. This bubbling disinformation cesspool has to be exposed because the size of this thing is enormous” – @NermaJelacic on the scale of the Syria disinformation campaign
“I´ve been dealing with denial and revisionism for two decades. The fact that professors put their names behind such mistruths makes everything so much more difficult…
…The affiliations give credibility to the misinformation they are spreading and that is what is so concerning.” - @NermaJelacic on why free expression cannot serve as a cover for atrocity denial

(cc: @EdinburghUni)
Listen to the full episode to hear from the Chair of CIJA´s Board, Ambassador Stephen Rapp, CIJA´s Syria Head Investigator and more:…

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More from @CIJAOnline

6 Apr
“Wars are fought with guns and bombs and stories…but there are people who twist and flip the narrative”

LIVE NOW on @BBCRadio4: Mayday: The Evidence Gatherers…
“When we found copies of orders and directives that had come down from Damascus, from the top, I knew we´ve got enough for some prosecutor to indict the top guys" Bill Wiley on CIJA evidence

LIVE NOW on @BBCRadio4:…
“The Syrian state and its Russian allies have always rejected claims that the regime is guilty of systematic war crimes...they hope whatever happened in the last ten years will be forgotten - but the paperwork in CIJA´s archive is going to make forgetting a lot harder”
Read 4 tweets

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