Families For Freedom demands urgent action to release all Syrian detainees

Families For Freedom demands urgent action to release all Syrian detainees
Families For Freedom has recently launched a petition urging support for to demand urgent action to release all Syrian detainees amid the rapid global spread of COVID-19.

Families For Freedom  called the UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen and Deputy Special Envoy Khawla Matar, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN Office for Humanitarian Coordination (OCHA), and members of the UN Security Council to use their power and influence to immediately pressure the Assad regime to release all detainees held in prisons and unofficial detention centers amid the global rapid spread of the coronavirus. 

At the very least, you must ensure that international organizations such as the ICRC and the WHO have regular access to detention facilities in order to improve health conditions, provide critical sanitary measures, and medical treatment to detainees. You must also demand that pardon decrees issued by Assad include political prisoners and human rights defenders, The Syrian NGO said.

My name is Hala Alghawi. I am a medical doctor and a co-founder of the Families for Freedom movement which campaigns for freedom and justice for Syria’s detainees, Dr Hala said. 

While my colleagues around the world battle the worst pandemic in living memory, I am terrified of coronavirus spreading into Assad’s underground detention dungeons, Dr Hala added.

Across Syria, tens of thousands of detainees are crowded into squalid, unventilated cells. Their immune systems are exhausted by the regime’s systemic torture and mistreatment. A coronavirus outbreak in these conditions is unimaginable horror, Families For Freedom said.

On top of this, for many years the regime and Russia have attacked Syria’s medical community directly, exactly the people and systems that are most needed to stop the outbreak. My husband was detained and tortured for months just for being a doctor, Families For Freedom added.

The Assad regime who took our loved ones from us has no interest in protecting detainees -- but in these days when the rest of the world is united against a common enemy, I pray that the UN and international health authorities can be pushed into using their powers to stop a coronavirus outbreak in Syria’s detention centers, Families For Freedom concluded.

“Please sign this urgent petition, coronavirus is spreading rapidly and we don’t have a day to lose,” Families For Freedom required.

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