Artwork by Syrian artist Azza Abo Rebieh

The Syrian regime is lying about the real scale of COVID-19 and today regime held areas remain under-documented. The consequences of coronavirus in Syria are horror beyond imagination.

Thousands of displaced families living in overcrowded camps simply cannot self-isolate. Health infrastructures in the country have collapsed due to the systematic targeting of hospitals and medical workers by the Syrian regime and Russia. 

Especially vulnerable are the nearly 100,000 detainees and forcibly disappeared people, many of whom are held in cramped underground centers where they are exposed to horrific conditions including torture and deprivation of proper food, drinking water, hygiene, and medical care. These cells are already perfect breeding grounds for viruses and illnesses, and if coronavirus spreads containment will be impossible. 

Join families of Syrian detainees in demanding urgent action to release all detainees held in prisons and unofficial detention centers amid the rapid global spread of COVID-19.

At the very least, the UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, with the heads of the World Health Organization, the Red Cross, and the UN in Damascus must do everything in their power to prevent the spread of coronavirus amid detainees. This includes ensuring that international medical and humanitarian organizations are allowed to regularly access detention facilities to improve health conditions and provide critical sanitary supplies and medical treatment for detainees. 

For years Syrians have experienced every kind of death: by barrel bombs, chemical weapons, starvation, drowning, and torture. Unless the UN grows a backbone and acts now, countless detainees will experience death by coronavirus in underground dungeons. Please sign the petition.  

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COVID-19: Urgent action to protect Syrian detainees

To 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:  

We call on you to use your power and influence to immediately pressure the Syrian 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.

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    Recent petitions

    • Jennifer, United States
      22 hours ago
    • Fatma, Lebanon
      1 week, 6 days ago
    • Aia, Palestine
      2 weeks ago
    • Nisan, United States
      2 weeks ago
    • Emma, United States
      2 weeks, 3 days ago
    • Robin, Canada
      3 weeks, 3 days ago
    • Claire, United Kingdom
      3 weeks, 5 days ago
    • Westerly, United States
      3 weeks, 5 days ago
    • Issal, United States
      3 weeks, 6 days ago
    • Renata, Argentina
      1 month ago

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