For Immediate Release
As the UN Security Council today unanimously passed a resolution aimed at halting the bloodshed in Syria (SCR 2401), including in the besieged region of eastern Ghouta, where five successive days of bombing have killed hundreds of people, PHR put out the following statement, attributable to Director of International Policy and Partnerships Susannah Sirkin:
“If implemented immediately, today’s UN Security Council resolution on Syria could lead to a desperately needed halt to the incessant bombing in eastern Ghouta, as well as provision of humanitarian aid, medical evacuations, and life-saving care for the thousands of civilians that are trapped in the apocalyptic reality of the Syrian conflict.
“Physicians for Human Rights has repeatedly called for these measures to be taken: for medical personnel to be protected, for humanitarian aid to be provided freely and safely, for sieges to be lifted, for civilians to be afforded the protection they are owed under long-held international humanitarian standards. We urge the Security Council to ensure the full and careful implementation of this resolution and echo its demand that all parties fully and immediately implement all provisions of all relevant resolutions, including operationalization of UNSC resolution 2286 to ensure accountability for the flagrant war crimes being committed against civilians in eastern Ghouta and throughout Syria.
“Today’s Security Council resolution (2401) carves out the possibility for warfare against ‘terrorist’ groups as designated by the Council. The Security Council must ensure that the Syrian government is not allowed to defy this edict by defining such groups at will. Given the Syrian government’s continued and shameless assertion that civilians living in opposition-held territories are “terrorists” and that victims of chemical attacks are merely actors, we ask the world to consider what is most likely: that the toddlers and babies trapped in eastern Ghouta’s hell on earth are active combatants, or that the Syrian government is lying to cover its crimes.”
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.