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Syria: Justice and Accountability for a Sustainable Peace
Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 February 2017.
Palace of Nations, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland.
Call for a gathering to make the voice of the Syrian civilians heard.
On the occasion of the International Geneva peace talks, which will gather the Syrian opposition and the Syrian regime delegation teams on February 2017, we call for a gathering to make heard the voices of Syrian people in their struggle; to reassert their legitimate claims that must be the basis for the negotiations.
Evolution since the failure of Geneva II and Geneva III:
• The forced displacement of the populations of the besieged regions (regions raised since 2011) is expanding and becoming a policy that is working for demographic change in Syria. People from these areas are forced to flee the country or forcibly transferred to Idleb (north), under the supervision of the UN. After Darayya in September 2016, the intensification of Russian barbarian bombing in December 2016 led to the destruction of Aleppo-East and the forced displacement of its inhabitants to Idleb. In January 2017 it was the turn of Wadi Barada (region of Damascus).
• A ceasefire agreement, orchestrated by Russia, was signed with the approval of Iran and Turkey in late December 2016. Today and despite the ceasefire, the bombing of Wadi Barada led to the forced displacement of its population towards Idleb at the end of January, Russia continues to bomb Idleb! and other areas in Syria continue to be bombed by the Syrian regime and its allies.
The crimes committed against civilians continue in Syria and the silence of the international community also continues.
More than half of the Syrian population has been displaced, there are now over 450,000 deaths, more than 1,000,000 injured, more than 325,000 arrests and enforced disappearances, more than 12,000 documented deaths under torture, and about 13,000 summary executions in Saydnaya Prison alone (according to Amnesty International’s recent report). With this horrendous suffering of the population, which is mainly caused by the Assad regime, only justice and accountability can help getting a real political solution. It deserves to be mentioned that the terrorist actions of Daesh “ISIL” and all other terrorist groups are a direct consequence of Assad’s policy.
Indeed, the Geneva 4 peace talk must lead to satisfaction of the aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom, dignity, and social justice in a democratic state. These aims must be guaranteed and protected from the interests and manipulations of regional and global powers who have demonstrated during the past six years, their exclusive attachment to their regional strategic interests, like those of the Assad regime, both on the ground and in the corridors of the UN.
The challenge is therefore to establish the basic rights of the citizens, in the context of a democratic, free, sovereign and unified Syria, gathering all components of its population, based on the concept of citizenship with equal rights.
We Syrians demand:
• An immediate departure of the dictator Bashar Al Assad in order to establish a transition government that is representative of the Syrian people, in order to hold free and fair elections for a true constituent assembly.
• An immediate end of the siege, the starvation and the forced displacement in all besieged regions.
• An immediate and effective end of all kind of shelling on neighborhoods and villages in Syria.
• The departure of all foreign fighters from Syria and the end all military foreign interventions, Russian and Iranian in particular.
• The release of all political prisoners, activists, journalists, civilians and freedom fighters who are imprisoned in the jails of the tyrannical regime of Assad or by any other armed group.
• The arrest and trial of those who have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity over the past 40 years.
• Reconstruction of the country in the respect of the people, and creation of healthy and safe conditions for the return of the displaced to their home.
Negotiations with the tyrannical regime of Bashar Al-Assad should not lead to any denial of the legitimate demands of the Syrian people, otherwise the people will unfortunately have no choice but to continue its struggle with strength and determination, even at current exorbitant suffering, to build a new free and democratic state.
Tribute to the victims of tyranny. Long live the Syrian revolution!