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Belgium seeks EU probe of Syrian threats

April 23, 2012 at 11:21 AM   |   Comments

BRUSSELS, April 23 (UPI) -- The Belgian Foreign Ministry has asked European Union members to investigate whether Syrian diplomats have threatened opposition members in Europe.

Michel Malherbe, a spokesman for Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, said the minister has "consulted EU partners about their relationship with Syrian embassies," EUobserver.com reported Monday.

Last year, Ghassan Zallito, a Syrian expatriate living in Belgium and married to a Belgian woman, told the Syrian embassy in Brussels he was rescinding his membership in Syria's ruling Baath Party to protest the government's response to pro-democracy protests, EUobserver.com said. When he visited his home village of Bdama, he was shot and killed in August.

Khaled Alhmood, a Syrian officer who joined the Free Syrian Army in October, told EUobserver.com anyone abroad who opposes the regime of President Bashar Assad is at risk.

He said his immediate family is in Turkey or in hiding in Syria but 14 members of his extended family were killed in revenge since he defected.

A member of a Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Council in Paris, said Syrian embassy-hired brutes have beaten up protesters in Paris and in Berlin.

"The situation is better now because the French have taken action. But they still send people to our protests to take pictures," the source said. "Syrian secret services are wherever their diplomats are. The whole embassy is normally secret service."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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