Portuguese / Spanish / English

Syria rights groups call on UN to investigate Tadamon massacre

US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and President of the Security Council speaks during a press conference for the Security Council programme of work in March at the UN Headquarters in New York on 1 March 2021. [TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images]
US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and President of the Security Council speaks during a press conference for the Security Council programme of work in March at the UN Headquarters in New York on 1 March 2021. [TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images]

Syrian human rights organisations have called on the United Nations to investigate the Tadamon massacre in Damascus in 2013 carried out by members of the regime's Branch 227.

"We are writing to demand immediate action to address this massacre, which amounts to a war crime, and hold perpetrators accountable at the UN Security Council," said the letter, which was addressed to the US permanent representative to the UN, Linda Thomas Greenfield.

Among the signatories are the White Helmets, Action for Sama, and the Syrian Network for Human Rights.

Two weeks ago, the Guardian published a report on how two academics hunted down a Syrian war criminal filmed brutally killing 41 people.

In the footage the intelligence officer, later identified Amjad Youssuf, can be seen asking civilians to run towards a pit in the ground, shooting at them and then watching as they hit a pile of other dead bodies.

The video, leaked by a military recruit after he escaped the country, shows two main perpetrators of the massacre setting light to the pile of bodies, then casually laughing and smoking.

READ: Denmark to deport Syrian refugee who had 2 fingers amputated by Assad regime

Several Syrians have been able to identify family members from the video, many of whom are Palestinians from the Yarmouk refugee camp.

The letter laments the lack of outcry from the international community, particularly "in the context of similar crimes being committed by Russian forces in Ukraine."

In 2013, the Tadamon district, where the massacre took place, was a combat zone where Syrian opposition forces faced the government.

The letter to the UN goes on to say that for years human rights organisations have documented targeted attacks on schools and hospitals and seen photos of tortured bodies being smuggled out of the country,

"But never before have we seen such clear evidence of a war crime committed and videotaped by Assad's intelligence services in broad daylight, in cold blood, with no regard for the humanity of the victims or concern for consequences."

In September last year the UN said that at least 350,209 people had been killed in the Syrian war, likely to be an underestimation. More than 100,000 Syrians are missing.

Categories
International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSyriaUN
Show Comments
Writing Palestine - Celebrating the tenth year of the Palestine Book Awards - Buy your copy of the book now
Show Comments