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Human Rights Watch calls on UN to deploy observers in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

March 19, 2018 at 3:20 am

Deputy Middle East Director at Human Rights Watch, Lama Fakih [3GenerationsOrg/YouTube]

Human Rights Watch has called on the United Nations to form a team of observers and deploy them in Eastern Ghouta, near the Syrian capital of Damascus amid fears that the Syrian government might use illegal methods in its attack on the rebel- held areas.

“The UN Security Council should urgently demand a United Nations monitoring team be granted immediate access to areas of Eastern Ghouta, now under government control” Human Rights Watch said in a report issued Sunday, adding that there are “serious concerns about how the government forces will treat residents in areas that come under its control, given past reports of reprisal executions”.

The watchdog said the team should “document any crimes that have already been committed” while their presence might deter any further violations.

“The team has also to visit sites where the government transfers eastern Ghouta residents, as there are serious concerns about their treatment” it added.

 Read: Syria regime ready to cut eastern Ghouta in two

Deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, Lama Fakih said “instead of just watching while the Syrian-Russian military alliance annihilates Eastern Ghouta, the UN Security Council should act to put a stop to these unlawful attacks”.

“If Russia again tries to protect the Syrian government by preventing council action, the General Assembly should demand monitors for Ghouta’s residents. For weeks these people endured starvation and bombardment and now they’re at risk of detention and even execution” she added.

Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus and home to about 400,000 civilians has been under attack by the Syrian-Russian military alliance since February 19.


The Syrian government forces have been surrounding Eastern Ghouta since 2013, restricting access to humanitarian aid and preventing civilians from leaving.

According to the United Relief Office in Eastern Ghouta, at least 1,699 people have been killed since 19 February.