For Immediate Release
A week after the UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 2401, demanding an end to hostilities in Syria to ensure unimpeded access for humanitarian convoys, the assault on eastern Ghouta continues and the Syrian authorities have reportedly stripped medical supplies from the only convoy allowed into this besieged area so far. Physicians for Human Rights issued this statement attributable to Susannah Sirkin, director of international partnerships and policy:
“Let’s be absolutely clear: blocking medical supplies and aid to civilians and wounded combatants is a gross violation of humanitarian law and a war crime which is resulting in the preventable illness and death of countless men, women, and children. Throughout the conflict, the Syrian government has used its control over humanitarian supplies to deny food and medical treatment to hundreds of thousands of people – even, at times, stripping humanitarian convoys to besieged areas of critically needed medical supplies, including UNICEF kits to treat severe acute infantile malnutrition.
“This criminal behavior must never be normalized. The Syrian government cannot continue to block, restrict, or delay access to humanitarian aid convoys with impunity. All parties to the conflict must ensure that all people in need receive aid in an immediate, unhindered, and sustained manner through the most direct routes, as required by international law and repeated UN Security Council resolutions.
“The Syrian government is bombing a besieged, densely populated area, then refusing bandages, trauma kits, and blood clotting agents for those affected by the bombing. It is yet another grotesque violation adding to the list of crimes against humanity committed by the Syrian government. It must be universally condemned and stopped.”
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.