Monday, July 15, 2013

Syria: Security Council Should Demand Humanitarian Access

Barring Humanitarian Groups Contributed to al-Qusayr Deaths

Human Rights Watch

"The United Nations Security Council, during its debate on July 16, 2013, should call for the Syrian government and armed opposition groups to grant humanitarian organizations access to civilians and wounded trapped by fighting in Syria. The government and opposition groups should ensure safe passage for civilians and medical treatment for all those wounded.
Denial of humanitarian access and safe passage to civilians trapped in fighting in violation of the laws of war has been a recurring issue during the Syrian armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said. A recent Human Rights Watch investigation into the government and Hezbollah attack on al-Qusayr, near Homs, found that the government’s refusal to allow humanitarian organizations access to the town appears to have contributed to several dozen deaths because no safe evacuation routes were available to civilians, and wounded people were denied adequate medical care.
Many lives in al-Qusayr might have been saved if the Syrian government had allowed aid organizations to do their job,” said Ole Solvang, senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch. “When people are dying every day, Security Council members should be calling for humanitarian access, not hiding behind political negotiations.”......"

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