Statement by the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect on the situation in Aleppo, Syrian Arab Republic
(New York, 02 December 2016) The Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, and the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, Ivan Šimonović, expressed outrage at the dire situation of civilians who are trapped in the fighting in Aleppo.
“Civilians are being killed in besieged east Aleppo on a daily basis and tens of thousands of them are attempting to flee the area due to intensified ground fighting and indiscriminate attacks by Syrian Government forces and their allies. This is inhumane and should be stop immediately.” The Special Advisers expressed alarm that trapped civilians have only two deadly options to choose from: either to stay in east Aleppo and be subjected to indiscriminate bombardments and starvation, or flee and face the risk of being killed during their attempt to leave eastern Aleppo and the risk of being arrested and detained once they reach government or Kurdish-controlled areas. “There must be accountability for potential crimes committed”, the Special Advisers emphasized, “but no retaliation. That requires respect for due process of law, and not arbitrary detention, torture and extra judiciary killings.” Civilians in western Aleppo have also been subjected to indiscriminate shelling by armed groups, resulting in the death of dozens of people and the displacement of tens of thousands.