The Arab Federation for Human Rights expresses deep concerns over the human rights situation in Syria, which saw a rapid deterioration in Aleppo and its surrounding cities as well as other parts of Syria, during the past 24 hours.
The Federation condemns and denounces in its strongest terms the crimes of bombing and murdering of civilians in Aleppo and Deir Al-Zour, which intensified during the past 24-hour period. The bombing targeted civilian residences, which are protected under international legislations and which military operations should have avoided. These military operations resulted in the killing of about 100 civilians, including women and children, and wounded scores of others. as a result of the air raids on Aleppo and its rural areas made by Russian aircraft and other aircraft belonging to the regime. Moreover, dozens of people were wounded and murdered in Russian raids on Deir Al-Zour.
The escalation of such inhumane atrocities is one of the main reasons for the disruption of the humanitarian truce declared at the end of last February, which caused an actual freeze in the current political settlement negotiations in Geneva, being conducted under the supervision of the United Nations.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights also expresses concerns for the hundreds of thousands of civilians in other parts of Syria who are also encountering extremely difficult conditions, especially in the light of the siege imposed upon them by government forces and armed groups affiliated to the government, as well as other armed opposition groups, including ISIS.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights asserts that the deliberate starving of civilians, as a strategy of war, is a gross violation under International Humanitarian Law. In addition, targeting civilians, including women and children, is considered a criminal act deserving of condemnation and amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Endeavors should be strongly made to hold accountable all those responsible for such acts including those who made them, before the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC).
The Arab Federation for Human Rights reminds all the international parties of their obligations, under International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, to protect civilians at all times and to allow them to have access to humanitarian aid, shelter, provide healthcare for patients and wounded persons and not to take any actions that would cause civilians to be deprived of their right to food, physical and psychological health and safety.
The Federation calls on the international sponsors, particularly the US and Russia, through their influence on the disputing parties and the regional forces engaged in the fighting, to ensure the immediate stoppage of all the military operations in Aleppo and in all the disputed areas in Syria. Moreover, they should push for the implementation of an immediate political settlement that puts an end to the ongoing human catastrophe in Syria, which has now been six successive years.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights is of the view that there is an urgent need for all the relevant bodies to ensure that civilians in Syria are protected and that escape from punishment is combatted, where a lack of questioning only serves to encourage the committing of many atrocious violations against International Humanitarian Law and the International Human Rights Law.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights highlights that the continuation of the current situation and the non-referral, by the Security Council, of the Syrian issue to the International Criminal Court is a disgraceful example of the kind of international politics exercised by the major countries towards the issues of human rights worldwide, and that the continuation of the deplorable human situation in Syria asserts that the international major powers are jointly involved in the human violations to which the Syrian People are exposed.
It is important to note that the Arab Federation for Human Rights, headquartered in Geneva, is considered the first Arab framework of reference in all that is relevant to the issues of human rights in the Arab World and for Arab citizens. The Federation manages the Arab, regional and international activity with different UN, Arab and regional bodies concerned with human rights, and with international and regional non-governmental organizations alike, through the network of its international and regional offices and international alliances.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights is an independent, civil, Arab initiative, which seeks to build a powerful alliance of non-governmental human-rights organizations, institutions and centers, as represented by the civil society in the Arab World, or by those concerned with its issues at the international level. The Federation aims at standardizing the efforts carried out for achieving constructive and integrated human-rights work in the Arab World to improve the situation of human rights in the Arab countries, spread human rights culture in society, deepen the concepts of peace, tolerance and national reconciliation, reject violence and extremism in all forms, and achieve justice, liberty, equality and development in Arab societies and countries.