Urgent parliamentary debate on the massacre happening in Eastern Ghouta, Syria.
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We are calling for an emergency parliamentary debate on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta, Syria. Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus has been under siege since 2013 making it the longest siege in modern history. In the last two weeks, Russian and regime airstrikes have stepped up the bombing in the rebel-held enclave and 400,000 civilians are trapped with no access to humanitarian aid such as food and medical supplies. As well as facing the daily threat of death from bombs, people are dying from malnutrition with children and the elderly being affected the most.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in the last three days alone, the death toll from airstrikes is close to 250 people. Around 22 hospitals and five aid centres have been bombed out of service, according to the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations. This is despite the fact that Eastern Ghouta was declared a ‘safe zone’ by Iran, Turkey and Russia less than a year ago.
UN ceasefires and calls for humanitarian corridors have been ignored. We want to see action. We don’t want to see another Srebrenica where the international community turns away as crimes against humanity are committed.
We want the British parliament to hold an urgent debate on the issue to draw a concrete plan of action. The debate should include the following points:
- The UK government must support a UN resolution for a ceasefire immediately.
- If a ceasefire is not agreed in the UN Security Council, the UK government must do all it can to enable humanitarian access so that aid organisations can enter to distribute urgent medical supplies and food.
- The UK must work on a combined plan to ensure there can be immediate and protected evacuation of civilians from the area.
- The UK should exert further pressure over Russia and Iran with the threat of further sanctions to halt airstrikes in Syria against civilian populations.
- The UK must provide air drops of aid in besieged areas.
- The UK should also provide more economic and humanitarian assistance to refugees fleeing the violence and arriving in neighbouring countries.
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