Several human rights organizations and Syrian civil society NGOs issued a joint statement in which they stressed the need not to tolerate violations committed by the Syrian regime and other parties and that the humanitarian catastrophe that befell as a result of the earthquake should not be a means of political investment.
The organizations have highlighted that several areas of Syria were impacted by the earthquake that struck southern Turkey on February 6th, with those closest to the epicentre being the most severely affected. It is important to note that the earthquake did not discriminate based on borders or conflict lines. Therefore aid must be distributed equally to all those in need, regardless of their location or affiliation, including both sides of the border and both sides of the conflict lines.
They further emphasized the need to consider the Syrian regime’s long history of politicizing aid and the fact that the humanitarian catastrophe should not provide it with an opportunity to escape accountability. The international community must not turn a blind eye to the regime’s crimes under the pretext of reaching those in need.
They emphasized that the Syrian regime’s embezzlement of UN and international aid is well-documented in numerous international and local human rights reports and is no longer disputed. Since 2015, it has become a deliberate policy. The Syrian regime has created a specific framework through its security services, making it almost impossible for UN and international organizations to operate outside of it.
The Syrian organizations that signed the letter emphasized that the Syrian regime is still committing violations against the Syrian people, including enforced disappearances and torture. Therefore, any attempt to restore relations with the regime or rehabilitate it is seen as support for a regime that has been involved in crimes against humanity, which is a violation of international law.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.