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To: Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney

Summon Russian Ambassador to Ireland for Syria Abuses

Without delay, to formally summon Russia’s ambassador to Ireland. This is on account of Russia's human rights abuses in Syria and its misuse of its senior position within the U.N. to protect and defend the brutal tyrant and war criminal Bashar al Assad, thereby seriously undermining the credibility and value of that organisation.

Why is this important?

Combined Assad Regime/Russian attacks on Eastern Ghouta:
-> On November 27th 2017, the Syrian Network for Human Rights released a report [1] detailing the horrific increase in military assaults on Eastern Ghouta, a region with approximately 400,000 people enduring years of siege at the hands of the Syrian regime and allied forces [2]. 147 civilians including 37 children had been killed in two weeks of attacks. The report stresses “that the Syrian and Russian regimes have, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council Resolutions 2139 and 2254 which both state that indiscriminate attacks must be halted. Also, The Syrian and Russian regimes have violated Article 8 of Rome Statute through the act of willful killing which constitutes war crimes.” The report adds that: “the bombardment has targeted defenseless civilians. Therefore, Syrian and Russian forces have violated the rules of the international human rights law which guarantee the right to life. Additionally, these violations were perpetrated in a non-international armed conflict which amount to a war crime where all elements were fulfilled.”

Russia blocking apprehension of perpetrators of Khan Sheikhoun chemical weapons massacre:
-> The U.N. Security Council adopted resolution 2235 (2015) on 7 August 2015, condemning “any use of any toxic chemical, such as chlorine, as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic”, and expressing determination to identify and hold accountable those responsible for such acts. This saw the establishment of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) between the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to identify and hold accountable those responsible for such acts.[3]

On November 17th 2016 the Security Council renewed the mandate of the JIM. However, subsequent to the infamous Khan Sheikhoun chemical weapon attack in April 2017, a UN investigation panel had been able to establish definitively that regime forces had carried out that chemical weapons attack[4]. As a result of that finding, Russia used its veto at the U.N. Security Council twice - on November 16th and 17th, 2017 - to prevent the renewal of the JIM’s mandate, making it impossible for all intents and purposes the task of holding to account those responsible for the attack. [5]

In the interests of Syrian civilians, it is of course necessary to engage with Russia in order to eventually achieve peace for Syria. As Frederic Hof - writing for the Atlantic Council [6] - has pointed out however, this should not be interpreted as cooperation with them.

In relation to the assault on Eastern Ghouta, it is fitting to end our petition with this quote from a resident of Eastern Ghouta when interviewed on Newsnight on November 27th, 2017: “There are no deadly weapons that we haven't been targetted with. You who are listening to me. What more are you waiting for? Our extermination?” [7]

7: See video below:

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL



2017-12-05 10:29:55 +0000

100 signatures reached

2017-12-04 14:13:43 +0000

50 signatures reached

2017-12-04 08:37:35 +0000

25 signatures reached

2017-12-04 00:04:46 +0000

10 signatures reached