The Cave Petition For Truth
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The Cave Petition for Truth
In the midst of war, ordinary heroes like Dr Amani Ballour worked together to rescue thousands of Syrian people. Now there is a hope of peace, they want to work together again to rescue Syria. These heroes know what rescue takes: we urge the UN and others to listen to their experience and include them in peacebuilding plans.
We stand united to illuminate that in spite of pain and despair in Syria, a young heroic woman was able to embody a ray of hope in the darkness of a sub-terrain hospital and we stand with her as a global community. #StandWithDrAmani
See our Open Letter below and Sign!
We, the undersigned, demand that the true and terrifying humanitarian situation in Syria is fully acknowledged and, furthermore, we pledge to ensure that sufficient pressure is put on Governments, NGOs, CSOs and intergovernmental organisations to protect and recognise the Syrian people and the health workers saving lives every day.
In a country torn apart by violence and conflict, health facilities offer a shining light of humanity to the innocent victims of war. Whilst global attention has shifted from the battlefield in Syria, there has been a troubling increase in attacks on health facilities and medical workers. António Guterres, the UN’s General Secretary, has condemned airstrikes on several health facilities in Syria. In September 2019, he went one step further and appointed General Chikadibia Obiakor as the head of a new committee to investigate several incidents aimed at hospitals in the Idlib area. These suspected violations of international humanitarian law are in addition to many other cases that have been documented and heavily criticised by various international groups and international organizations.
Despite the constant threat of being attacked, interviews conducted by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) with medical workers in Syria revealed that 97% were determined to continue working in targeted hospitals. These heroes will stay, risking their own lives in order to save the lives of others, protect their communities and to safeguard Syria’s future.
The story of Dr Amani Ballour, depicted in the documentary “The Cave”, embodies this heroism.
The film is a testimony of the harsh physical and psychological working conditions of several female medical workers, but also of their commitment and dedication to continue to save lives. The accomplishments of Dr Amani, who managed an underground hospital for several years in eastern Ghouta, are even more stunning given the fact that she had to terminate her medical studies when the conflict broke out. Her story shines a light on the horrors of war in Syria, the women who are pushing social boundaries to care for others and the complete lack of infrastructure in war zones.
This final point is one that is particularly salient, the issue of little to no formal medical training amongst health care staff remains a major problem in Syria, and many lives could be saved if access to treatment and the quality of training was improved. Further lives could be saved if medical supplies would be allowed to enter the war zone, unimpeded.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, commit to Stand By Dr Amani and:
- Help highlight the continued violence and perpetually worsening situation in Syria and ensure the use of resources to keep the situation in Syria in the news and in the conversation
- Help provide a platform where Syrians across the world have a voice at the table in reconciliation discussions to defend the safety and future of the Syrian people.
- Help protect and advance the safety of hospitals in Syria.
- Help improve access to treatment and training for staff in Syrian hospitals
- Help protect and advance the rights of women in Syria.
Furthermore, we, the undersigned, call upon Governments, NGOs, CSOs and intergovernmental organisations to make these, simple and tangible efforts towards those goals:
- Set up a task force with the goal of defining best practices to improve access to and develop new forms of medical training/skills for female medical workers in Syria. For example: the creation of open access software applications (Apps, both Android and iOS, ideally 2G/3G mobile networks with offline functionality due looming threats of internet blackouts) that provide basic medical, hygiene, and conflict zone training catered to female medical workers.
- To allocate funds to be used to implement the recommendations of the task force through the Al Amal Foundation;to support female medical workers risking their lives while assisting conflict affected populations; educate and equip future generations of female leaders in conflict zones; educate aspiring youth so that they can be the leaders of tomorrow.
- To include and officially recognise unknown human rights actors that have lived the experience and led humanitarian and medical efforts, such as Dr Amani, to advise and inform the way forward.
- Signed, by us, the people,
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