Lakhdar Brahimi / Avaaz.org & BBC News – 2013-12-03 02:20:45
A Petition to Member States of UN Security Council
Allow immediate humanitarian access to help Syrians without descrimination
(November 29, 2013) — Why this is important:
I am a 28-year-old Palestinian Syrian who serves the civilian Local Council of Moadamiya, Syria, protecting my family by using the pseudonym Qusai Zakaria.
Moadamiya, where I grew up and live, has been under siege for over 365 days. There are still 8,000 civilians living here, and our food supplies have run out. As a citizen journalist, I am now documenting my townspeople dying of hunger. Seven children and four women have already died of malnutrition.
Numerous humanitarian organizations have pleaded to no avail with the Assad regime to break the savage siege against civilians in cities throughout Syria, including Daraya, Yarmouk Camp, eastern Gouta, and Homs. Assad continues to use food and medicine as weapons of war.
I declare a hunger strike beginning on Tuesday, November 26, until the siege against the townsfolk of Moadamiya is lifted.
I call on people of conscience everywhere to pressure their governments to act to break Assadâ€™s siege and let humanitarian agencies bring food and medicine into besieged areas.
Your support is my only weapon.
ACTION: To sign the petition, Click Here.
To be delivered to:
Member states of UN Security Council, Lakhdar Brahimi
Allow immediate humanitarian access to help Syrians without discrimination.
Qusai is Hunger Striking in Moadamiya, one of dozens of other Syrian towns being subjected to the Assad regime’s policy of “Starvation Until Submission,” in violation of international law prohibiting deliberate starvation of populations.
Follow the “Break the Siege” page to see updates about the humanitarian crises this criminal policy has created all over Syria, how people are enduring and suffering, and what can be done to stop this unspeakable cruelty.
Starved Syria Civilians Flee Besieged Damascus Suburb
BBC World News
MOADAMIYA, Syria (October 29, 2013) — The BBC’s Lyse Doucet, who was at the scene, describes a tide of desperate people leaving the area, which has been closed off since March.
Supplies in Moadamiya had been running desperately short, and residents had pleaded to be saved from starvation. The exodus of civilians has been made possible by an apparent relaxation of a blockade by government forces.
The Syrian army had previously said that rebel-held areas of Damascus such as Moadamiya could surrender or starve.
At least three of Damascus’s suburbs — Yarmouk, Eastern Ghouta and Moadamiya — have been besieged by government forces for several months.
The situation has become so desperate that earlier this month Muslim clerics issued a religious ruling allowing people to eat cats, dogs and donkeys just to survive. Those animals are usually considered unfit for human consumption in Islam.
For months, the UN and other aid agencies have been calling for urgent help, fearing the worst for the people of Moadamiya.
“We didn’t see a piece of bread for nine months,” one woman told the BBC. “We were eating leaves and grass.”
The Minister for Social Affairs, Kinda Al Shamamat, who was overseeing the evacuation, has accused rebel gunmen – whom she describes as terrorists – of infiltrating Moadamiya.
But rebel fighters — who have stayed behind in the suburb — accuse the government of trying to starve them into submission. Now that most civilians have fled, the battle will intensify, our correspondent says.
The World Health Organization has confirmed 10 cases of polio in Syria — the first outbreak in the country in 14 years. The UN body says a further 12 cases are still being investigated.
Before Syria’s civil war began in 2011, some 95% of children in the country were vaccinated against the disease, but now an estimated 500,000 children have not been immunised.
There has been speculation that foreign groups fighting in Syria may have imported polio into the country. The disease has been largely eradicated in developed countries but remains endemic in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister, Qadri Jamil, was dismissed on Tuesday for leaving the country and acting without government permission, state media said.
Mr Jamil met US officials in Geneva over the weekend to discuss peace negotiations, according to UN and Middle East officials.
But the state news agency Sana said Mr Jamil had been dismissed by President Bashar al-Assad “because he left his centre of work without prior permission and did not follow up on his duties”.
“Additionally, he undertook activities outside the nation without co-ordinating with the government,” Sana said.
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