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Thursday 25 June 2015

NGOs unite in urging UN Security Council to take urgent action to stop civilian attacks in Syria

Photo: Over 60 killed in Al Janudiyye, 8 June 2015 – Syria Civil Defence.

The #withSyria coalition of humanitarian organisations has written the following letter to the UN Security Council, calling for consequences for violations of UN Security Council 2139, in particular violations of the resolution’s demand for an end to shelling and air attacks in populated areas:

We are a coalition of human rights and humanitarian organizations working to protect and assist the civilians of Syria. We wish to express our collective outrage at the never ending state of unchecked brutality in Syria and call on the UN Security Council to take immediate action.  Given continuing indiscriminate attacks against civilians within Syria, we urge each member of the Security Council to now take steps to implement further diplomatic measures given clear and ongoing non-compliance with Resolution 2139, specifically measures to establish a mechanism to track and publically expose indiscriminate attacks by any means against civilians, including barrel bombs or car bombs, and to lay down clear consequences for violators.

Sixteen months ago the UN Security Council demanded an end to “…all attacks against civilians, as well as the indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, including shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs” in Resolution 2139. Yet since then the Council has stood by as this demand has been repeatedly violated month after month with unrelenting and brutal attacks against schools, markets, and hospitals and the deaths of thousands of Syrian civilians. This must not be allowed to continue. Expressing “deep concern” in statements to the press while Syrians are killed and maimed in attacks which violate International Humanitarian Law day after day is a woefully inadequate response. Syrians deserve to be protected from all attacks, not just those involving chemical weapons.

We urge the Council to use the upcoming Arria meeting to seize the momentum on this critical issue and commence the process required to set up a mechanism to track and publically expose indiscriminate attacks by any means against civilians, including barrel bombs or car bombs, and to lay down clear consequences for violators.

  1. Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture (ACAT)
  2. Algerian League for Defense of Human Rights
  3. Alkarama Foundation
  4. Alliance for Peacebuilding
  5. Amnesty International
  6. Andalus Institute for Tolerance and anti-Violence Studies
  7. Arab Coalition for Sudan
  8. Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
  9. Arab Organisation for Human Rights – Libya
  10. Arab Organisation for Human Rights – Mauritania
  11. Arab Program For Human Rights Activists
  12. Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS)
  13. Baytna Syria
  14. Bridge of Peace Syria
  15. Broederlijk Delen
  16. CAABU (Council for Arab-British Understanding)
  17. CAFOD
  18. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  19. CARE International
  20. Caritas Czech Republic
  21. Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
  23. Concern Worldwide
  24. Darfur Bar Association
  25. Development and Peace
  26. Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN)
  27. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
  28. Fraternity Center for Democracy and Civil Society
  29. Friends Committee on National Legislation
  30. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  31. Handicap International
  32. Hand in Hand for Syria
  33. Human Rights & Democracy Media Center “SHAMS”
  34. Human Rights First Society – Saudi Arabia
  35. Human Rights Watch
  36. Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (HIVOS)
  37. International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  38. Islamic Relief USA
  39. Karam Foundation
  40. Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH)
  41. Madani Organization
  42. Mayday Rescue
  43. Médecins du Monde/ Doctors of the World
  44. Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
  45. Nonviolence Network in the Arab Countries
  46. No Peace Without Justice
  47. Norwegian People’s Aid
  48. Norwegian Church Aid
  49. NuDay Syria
  50. Omani Monitor for Human Rights
  51. Open Doors UKI
  52. Palestinian League for Human Rights – Syria
  53. Pax Christi Flanders
  54. The Peace Appeal Foundation
  55. People In Need
  56. Permanent Peace Movement
  57. Phenix Centre for Economic and Informatics Studies (Jordan)
  58. Physicians for Human Rights
  59. Refugees International
  60. Relief International
  61. Rethink Rebuild Society
  62. Relief & Reconciliation for Syria
  63. Save the Children
  65. Sudan Social Development Organisations (SUDO UK)
  66. Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
  67. Syria Civil Defence
  68. Syria Relief
  69. Syria Relief and Development
  70. The Day After Association
  71. The Helen Bamber Foundation
  72. The Syrian Emergency Task Force
  73. Trocaire
  74. Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights
  75. United to End Genocide
  76. United for a Free Syria
  77. Violations Documentation Center in Syria
  78. Vision GRAM-International
  79. Welthungerhilfe
  80. World Jewish Relief
  81. Zarga Organisation for Rural Development (ZORD) – Sudan
See also Amnesty’s press release, Syria: UN Security Council must not squander opportunity to save civilian lives:
“Unless resolution 2139 is enforced, Syria’s civilians will continue to be trapped in an endless cycle of bloodshed caused by the unlawful use of explosive weapons such as barrel bombs.”
More from What’s In Blue: Arria-Formula Meeting on the Indiscriminate Use of Weapons against Civilians in Syria

Update: As a patriotic Syrian, I never imagined I would do this – Address by Raed Saleh, head of the White Helmets, at the UN Security Council Arria Briefing on the 26th of June.