Friday, 28 October 2016

UN’s Stephen O’Brien calls on UK and allies to act



On Wednesday the UN’s relief chief Stephen O’Brien called on individual Security Council members with military assets in Syria—a category that includes the UK—to act on civilian protection.

Below is our briefing on his remarks and their implications.

PDF version.

Briefing: UN relief chief calls on individual Security Council members with military assets in Syria—including the UK—to act on civilian protection.

Summary:
  • UN relief chief Stephen O’Brien has called on individual Security Council members to take concrete steps to stop aerial bombardment of civilian areas.
  • Military action to protect civilians in Syria is legal even without a further UN resolution.
  • The British public support action to protect civilians in Syria so long as it doesn’t endanger British military personnel.
  • A no-bomb zone would fulfil the practical, legal, and political requirements for action to protect civilians.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Rally for Aleppo



On Saturday at 12 noon, major UK charities are leading a rally for Aleppo at Downing Street.

This very important rally will call on the UK Government to protect civilians in Syria. We all need to add our voices.

Please come, and please bring your children to support the children of Aleppo. Please ask your child to bring a teddy bear for photos.

Please organise local events and share images with the hashtag #RallyForAleppo

Facebook Event Page

Below is a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May endorsed by several charities and NGOs. We are pleased to add our support. Add your name via the Amnesty website here.

Help 4Syria
Peace and Justice for Syria
Rethink Rebuild Society
Scotland 4 Syria
Syrian Association of Yorkshire
Syrian Community South West
Syrian Society of Nottinghamshire
Syria Solidarity UK
Syrian Welsh Society




Saturday, 15 October 2016

Briefing: How can a no-fly zone work?

Leading NGOs and Syrian activists are calling on the UK Government to protect civilians in Syria. We will be joining together outside Downing Street at noon on Saturday 22nd October to call on the UK to take action.

Read about Saturday’s Rally for Aleppo.

Facebook event page: #RallyForAleppo.

Read and sign the letter to Theresa May.



A YouGov poll in the UK has found that 64% of people in the UK support a No-Fly Zone to protect Aleppo’s civilians. France and Germany have similar solid majorities in favour of taking action to protect civilians in Syria.

But there continues to be a deal of confusion in media reports around the meaning of the terms no-fly zone, no-bomb zone, and safe area. Government responses have at times conflated the three, failing to properly address the more low risk options.

The following briefing sets out in simple terms what various options entail and explains why a no bomb zone is our preferred option.

How can a no-fly zone work? Web version.

How can a no-fly zone work? PDF version.

Single sheet PDF guide to a no bomb zone option.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Protest against Russian aggression in Syria and Ukraine

London Euromaidan and Syria Solidarity UK joined the global protest against Russian aggression and Putin’s criminal actions on Friday 14th October. We called upon the UK Government and the international community to confront Putin for his war crimes against the people of Syria, Ukraine and Georgia.

We urge the UK government to work with international allies to introduce a no-fly zone over Aleppo, as well as to apply a blanket freeze on assets of all Russian oligarchs, Russian government officials and their family members in the UK.

Below is our letter to the Prime Minister.

We call on the UK Government to:

  • Introduce a no-fly zone over Aleppo, Syria in partnership with international allies.
  • Freeze the assets of all Russian oligarchs, government officials and their families in the UK. 
  • Introduce further sanctions on Russian Federation, including suspension of the Russian banking system from SWIFT.    
  • Investigate the role of the Russian propaganda channel, RT (Russia Today), in promoting extremism, and ethnic hatred in the UK.  
  • Support the uninterrupted and comprehensive surveillance of the Ukrainian border with the Russian Federation by an international peacekeeping mission including extending OSCE monitoring of the border to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  


We call on the Government of the Russian Federation to fully withdraw forces from Ukraine and Syria; to return all Russian military personnel, weapons and military equipment back to Russia; and to release all Ukrainian citizens who are illegally held in custody—both in Russia and in Crimea—on politically motivated and trumped-up charges.

We—the people and friends of Syria and Ukraine—want an end to Putin’s killings of civilians, including children, and humanitarian workers in Syria and the east of Ukraine.  We call on the British people to help us stop further loss of human life.  Please support our cause.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Save a school in Aleppo



Syria Solidarity UK have been directly involved in putting together the following emergency appeal. We know the people running the school in Aleppo and the people fundraising in the UK.

We have been in ongoing contact with people in Aleppo over several months. Even as they face the horror of constant bombing and the anxiety of increased food shortages, one of our key contacts has been working on funding for this school.

Established funders we have been speaking to won’t take it on because Aleppo is high risk and therefore falls outside their guidelines for funding. Being in besieged east Aleppo there is of course no safe school option for these children, but they still need an education as well as protection from bombs and food to eat.

Please support and share.

From the Just Giving page:

We at Human Care Syria have been approached with this urgent request from a school in East Aleppo. The school has run out of funds to continue operating and we have decided to take on the challenge of running the school and raising the funds necessary because we understand how critical the situation is.

Since the start of the Syrian crisis four million Syrian children are out of school and not receiving their basic human right to an education.

What does this mean for the community around East Aleppo?

This school is the only school in the area, serving 900 students (aged 5-14) in the community. If it shuts down the children will face the risk of traveling to another school, and traveling inside Aleppo is very dangerous at this present time! This will inevitably make parents keep their children at home. It will also mean a loss of jobs for teachers and maintenance staff.

One year’s running cost is £49,000 (covering 28 classrooms for a double shift school).

Give here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/hcfww/saveaschoolinaleppo

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Leaked Labour Briefing on Syria Shows Complete Disregard for Syrian Voices


Ahead of the emergency session on Syria in Parliament, a leaked document from the Labour Party shows that Labour is not learning from previous mistakes on Syria and not putting the protection of civilians as a priority. Syrian groups in the UK have been continually calling for civilian protection since the beginning of the Syrian regime's massacres of its own people.

The protection of civilians is a necessary prerequisite of any peace process in Syria. Syrian groups in the UK are urging the Labour Party and Labour MPs to correct their priorities on Syria and make protecting civilians the main priority of today's parliamentary session.

The leaked document can be seen here:

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Stop the war in Syria

Protect the Children of Aleppo: Stop the War in Syria

250,000 people live in East Aleppo, including an estimated 100,000 children. These people are not terrorists; they simply don’t want to live under a leader, Assad, who has killed, raped and tortured their kin.

On Wednesday the Syrian military warned these civilians to flee or meet their “inevitable fate.” Russian and Syrian airstrikes are targeting hospitals, schools, bakeries, and underground shelters. This policy of deliberately targeting civilians is a war crime that will cause trauma for generations.

The leaders of Britain, America, Russia, Iran, etc. have done nothing to protect Syria’s civilians; it falls to us who do care to organise and speak out on their behalf.

Please join us to call for an immediate end to the bombing in Aleppo and a properly enforced UN ceasefire.

Syria is the worst war of this decade, even of this bloody century so far.

What will you do to stop the war in Syria?

READ: Left activists call on Jeremy Corbyn to speak out on Syria

Below: Syria activists leafleting outside today's Stop The War conference in London.