Corrupting Science: in Syria Probe, OPCW Erased Experts’ Inconvenient Findings
Early in the OPCW’s Douma investigation, expert toxicologists ruled out chlorine gas as the victims’ cause of death. Leaks expose how senior OPCW officials censored this explosive finding — and then targeted the inspector who raised the alarm.
In the early days of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, expert toxicologists ruled out chlorine gas as the cause of death for the more than 40 civilians reported at the scene. Instead of publishing this finding, senior OPCW officials concealed it, and then launched an investigation of a veteran inspector who questioned the censorship.
The suppression of the toxicologists is among a series of deceptions by the OPCW leadership to corrupt the Douma probe’s scientific process, as detailed in this new multi-part investigation by The Grayzone. More than three years later, the high-level campaign of censorship and muzzling has mired the world’s top chemical weapons watchdog in scandal.
The manipulation began when the OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) produced a 115-page report in June 2018. The report found no evidence of a chemical weapons attack in Douma. This undermined the stated pretext for US-led air strikes on Syria two months prior, and raised the possibility that insurgents had staged the April 7, 2018 incident to frame the Syrian government.
But as leaked documents later revealed, this original report was kept from the public. Instead, senior OPCW officials tried to rush out a
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