Monday, 17 August 2015

What’s happened since 2013 in Eastern Ghouta?

Mark Boothroyd

 "Since the chemical attacks on August 21st 2013 the inhabitants of Eastern Ghouta have had no respite from the suffering inflicted upon them by the Assad regime. The siege which only parts of Eastern Ghouta had suffered since early 2013, have now become total. Food and medical aid is reduced to a trickle, and falls far short of what is needed to meet the basic needs of the besieged population.
 Hospitals are targeted by regularly by the regime. The Medical Director of the hospital in the town of Erbeen reported they had been attacked 10 times in the previous year, killing two nurses and badly damaging the facility.
 Over 500 civilians have been killed between January and June this year from regime air strikes. Schools, markets, hospitals; the basic services required to sustain life are all attacked. The aim is to make the situation unliveable and break the will of the population to resist the regime.
 The dire situation has lead to the phenomena of ‘bucket children’, groups of children who roam Eastern Ghouta scavenging and begging for food. With their parents unable to provide for them and little or no educational facilities, scavenging has become a way to pass the time, and perhaps secure at least one meal. In the situation of lawlessness and dire poverty, these children suffer high levels of abuse and labour exploitation, as well as the everyday risk of death from snipers, barrel bombs or shells.
 The residents of Eastern Ghouta still participate in the resistance to the regime. The town of Saqba has a Friday demonstration every week without fail. The demonstrations range from a few hundred of several thousand at a time, and are used to demonstrate their opposition to the regime, and to place demands on the armed groups of the opposition.
 The situation in Eastern Ghouta is a scandal and demands action. Join the demonstration on August 22nd to highlight the continued suffering of people in the Ghouta. Across Syria between 650,000 and 1,000,000 are trapped in nightmarish conditions, subject to siege and warfare. They need our support now more than ever. On Saturday 22 August we will mark the second anniversary of the chemical weapons massacre in Ghouta, Syria.
 We will assemble at 2pm in Trafalgar Square, before walking to Downing Street. Please bring flowers to mourn the dead."

No comments:

Post a Comment