ABC News Exclusive: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad Speaks with Barbara Walters

By ABC News

Dec 6, 2011 7:15am

AN ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE

SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD SPEAKS FOR FIRST TIME TO AMERICAN MEDIA

SINCE UPRISING BEGAN 10 MONTHS AGO

BARBARA WALTERS TRAVELS TO DAMASCUS, SYRIA FOR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CONTROVERSIAL WORLD LEADER

To Air Across ABC News Platforms on Wednesday, December 7 Including “Good Morning America” and “World News”

“Nightline” to air a Special Edition:  ”Barbara Walters in Syria: Assad Speaks”  Devoting Full Program to Walters’ Report from Inside Syria

To Run First as Part of the Newsmakers Series on ABCNews.com and Yahoo! News

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad sat down with ABC News Anchor Barbara Walters for his first exclusive on-camera interview with an American journalist since the uprising in Syria began last March.  Walters’ no-holds-barred interview with President Al-Assad in Damascus comes as he is under unprecedented international pressure to step down and stands accused by the Arab League, the United Nations (UN), and human rights groups of gross and systematic human rights violations.

The interview will air across ABC platforms on Wednesday, December 7, first on ABCNews.com and Yahoo! News’ Newsmakers series (6:00 am ET), then on “Good Morning America” (7:00 am ET), “The View” (11:00 am ET) and “World News with Diane Sawyer” (6:30 pm ET).  “Nightline”  will air a Special Edition:  ”Barbara Walters in Syria: Assad Speaks”  devoting full program to Walters’ report from inside Syria (11:35 pm ET).   Portions of the interview will also be available on ABC News Radio and ABC NewsOne.

 

abc walters assad 1 jef 111205 wblog ABC News Exclusive: Syrian President Bashar Al Assad Speaks with Barbara Walters

ABC News/Rob Wallace

WATCH: Syrian President Assad on ‘GMA’

Walters questioned the controversial Syrian leader about the November 25th  UN report, which recorded the human rights violations including the detention and torture of children in his country, and recommended for Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.  Walters also pressed President Al-Assad on his government’s violent crackdown on protestors, the impact of economic and travel sanctions against his country, calls for the President to step down, and whether he will allow Arab League monitors and foreign press free and unrestricted access to Syria.

Walters also met off-camera, but on-the-record, with Mrs. Asma Al-Assad, the British-born First Lady of Syria.

Walter’s interview with President Al-Assad continues ABC News’ year of unprecedented exclusives with world leaders, including former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and former Libyan Dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

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