30-June-2014 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Conference of European Bishops Condemns Crucifixions in Syria

Says Deaths Contrary to Any Attempt to Pacify Country

ROME, June 30, 2014 (Zenit.org) - The Presidency of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences has expressed its outrage at the crucifixions of rebel fighters near the Syrian city of Aleppo.

In a statement signed by Cardinals Peter Erdo and Angelo Bagnasco, respectively president and vice president of the CCEE, the bishops said such acts are "against any attempt to pacify the country already battered by years of fratricidal war."

Eight rebel fighters were crucified in Syria by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) because they were considered too moderate, a monitoring group has claimed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on contacts on the ground in Syria, said the men were crucified on Saturday and that their corpses were still on view. The crucifixions took place in the town square of Deir Hafer in eastern Aleppo and will be left there for three days, it said.

The men were accused of being "Sahwa" fighters, the Observatory said, a term ISIS uses to refer to rival combatants whom it accuses of being controlled by Western powers.

Another man was crucified for perjury in Al Bab, but has survived, according to the SOHR.

Statement of the CCEE

"The Presidency of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE) informed of the crucifixion of people in the center of Deir Hafer (Syria) that preceded the proclamation of the Islamic Caliphate in the Syrian and Iraqi territories under the control of the Isis expresses its strong indignation and condemnation of such acts. These acts that use religion to justify acts of summary justice are against any attempt to pacify the country already battered by years of fratricidal war."

Cardinal Péter Erdo, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, CCEE President

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, vice president of the CCEE

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