World Bulletin / News Desk
A junior Syrian diplomat accredited to the United Nations in Geneva has defected, Swiss media said on Monday, the latest member of Syria's establishment known to have turned against President Bashar al-Assad during an uprising against his rule.
Dany Al Ba'aj is listed as third secretary at the Syrian mission to the U.N. in Geneva, where he was part of its delegation to the Human Rights Council. He is not known to have addressed the 47-member forum, which has condemned Assad's government four times during the conflict.
"I announced my resignation on Friday on a Syrian web site and informed the Syrian charge d'affaires in Geneva," the Swiss news agency ATS quoted him as saying.
"I was in contact with an opposition group for some time. The situation continues to worsen. I felt that I could no longer serve my country in the government camp," he said, adding that he was not seeking asylum in Switzerland but his parents were with him in Geneva.
The highest-level civilian defection from the Assad administration to date has been Prime Minister Riyad Hijab, who fled Syria with his family on Aug. 6.
But the rate of public defections has been much slower than the speed at which officials turned their backs on Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan government last year, something that those who have defected attribute to fear.Last Mod: 13 Ağustos 2012, 18:14