ABC News Exclusive: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad Talks to Barbara Walters

December 6, 2011 Updated Dec 6, 2011 at 5:51 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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ABC News Exclusive: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad Talks to Barbara Walters

December 6, 2011 Updated Dec 6, 2011 at 5:51 PM EDT

(ABC News release) 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, 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.

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 protesters, 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.