Maat calls on all conflict parties in Syria to stop armed conflict and respect human rights
In the context of Maat’s interest in promoting respect for human rights in the Arab region, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights presented a written intervention on the human rights situation in Syria under item 4 of the work of the HRC. Thereof, concerning the report of the International Independent Investigation Commission on the Syrian Arab Republic, in the context of Human Rights Council resolution 37/29. Hence, this came on the sidelines of the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, held in Geneva from 25 February to 22 March.
The intervention affirmed that recent months witnessed a major shift in events on the ground, specifically regarding combating terrorism, the success of the Syrian regime in regaining control over large parts of the territory that were under the control of the armed opposition groups and organizing the terrorist operations. After a Russian-Turkish arrangement, the parties, except for the terrorist groups, met in the Kazakh capital Astana to reach a political solution to ensure a complete cessation of the conflict. The parties agreed to a cessation of hostilities in four regions.
In its intervention, Maat revealed that serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law are constantly committed in Syria by the conflicting parties, by targeting civilians and indiscriminate killings, including women and children, albeit, it is on a lesser scale during 2017/2018.
Furthermore, the intervention focused on violations by terrorist groups. During the period between February and April 2018, armed groups, including the Army of Islam, Ahrar al-Sham and the Corps of Rahman, killed hundreds of civilians in indiscriminate attacks on Damascus. Moreover, according to the United Nations Fact-Finding Commission, these groups regularly arbitrarily arrested and tortured civilians in Duma, including members of religious minorities.
The intervention referred to the report of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which emphasized that the conflict in Syria contributed to mass exodus, with nearly half of the population fleeing their homes, and the number of people who fled their homes and fled to areas within the country 6.1 million, while 5.5 million were displaced outside Syria.
In conclusion, Maat recommended that the international bodies and all parties to the conflict should stop the armed conflict in Syria and unify all efforts for the success of the Geneva process to reach a settlement of the conflict, cooperation in combating terrorism and extremism to eliminate terrorist groups and international efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons inside and outside Syria.
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