UN: Act now to save people in Syria's East Ghouta!

UN: Act now to save people in Syria's East Ghouta!

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Sawsan Abou Zainedin started this petition to António Guterres (Secretary General of the United Nations) and

Right now, my friends in East Ghouta face airstrikes, missiles and heavy bombardment, including use of banned weapons, in addition to military land incursions by the Syrian regime and the Russian forces. This follows years of non-stop blockades and bombing against civilians .

Despite the UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR 2401) calling for ceasefire in East Ghouta, the Syrian regime and its allies have continued their fierce military assault on civilian communities.

Some agreements were reached in few areas of East Ghouta allowing forced evacuation of civilians to non-regime held areas, or to specific relocation camps in regime-held Damascus. Others could stay in their homes under the control of the Syrian regime.

The fate of civilians in other areas remains uncertain while they live under fire.

There has been NO international monitoring for any of the forced evacuations in East Ghouta, NOR international guarantees for the safety of civilians who chose to stay in areas captured by the regime or for the evacuees in relocation camps. The Syrian regime and Russian forces are the ONLY guarantors for the safety of the civilians.

This is particularly concerning for local councils' officials, civil society workers, medical staff, civil defence workers (the White Helmets), journalists, and activists, and those who risk forced recruitment into the regime’s military. Their lives are at great risk if captured by the regime.

Reports are coming concerning the dire humanitarian situation including the screening, torture, disappearance and killing of civilians by regime forces. This is not only in areas captured by the regime, but in relocation camps too.  

Please sign this petition to call on the UN to fulfil their role and be accountable for saving lives of civilians of East Ghouta by implementing their demands.

Civilians of East Ghouta established a body to represent them called The Civilian Block of East Ghouta. Along with the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2401, they are also calling to:

  • Ensure through international guarantees the safety and freedom of movement for civilians within and between East Ghouta, and the rest of Syria;
  • Make civilians in East Ghouta a partner in all negotiations;
  • Ensure the safety and security of workers in all civilian institutions and those who risk forced recruitment in the regime's military;
  • Establish a permanent follow-up mechanism to protect civilians of East Ghouta;
  • Compel the regime and its allies to lift the siege on East Ghouta.

The full statement of the Civilian Block can be found here.

Creating safe passages for civilians  from ALL areas in East Ghouta to destinations of their choice including to non-regime held areas under international monitoring and guarantees is urgent. So is creating mechanisms to ensure their safety in the locations they choose.

Forced evacuations in this context counts as forced displacement and constitutes a war crime. But at this stage, protecting lives is what matters the most. This is why we are counting on you to call on the UN to take action now!

Thanks for your support!

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