Photo: Activists demanded the UAE uninvites Assad from COP, outside UAE-owned Manchester City football club.

Time is running out until the world’s climate conference this November, but instead of protecting humanity, COP 28 host the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has invited Syrian war criminal Bashar al-Assad to join the talks.

Far from holding the Syrian regime to account, Assad is being handed the perfect opportunity to greenwash his crimes against humanity at his first international conference since 2011.

If Assad does make it to the UN climate talks, every handshake and photo opp will be a grave betrayal of victims of atrocities in Syria.

The UAE has several high-profile investments in UK football teams, sponsored by its airlines Etihad and Emirates. It cares what fans and its airline customers think. Together, thousands of us can show the UAE that we won’t stand for the Syrian regime exploiting COP as a comeback tour.

Sign the petition telling the UAE to uninvite Assad from COP 28.

To suggest Assad is interested in climate and protecting the planet is ludicrous. Over the past decade, he has besieged and bombed entire towns and cities to the ground, littered Syria’s landscape with shrapnel, displaced millions of people from their land, and deliberately burnt farmers’ fields to starve the Syrian people.

The regime has used chemical weapons 222 times in the past 12 years and Assad’s goal remains the destruction of anyone and anything that threatens his authority. In the past month alone his forces have bombed seven hospitals, 13 schools, and killed 66 civilians in northwest Syria.

The army recently shot on protesters in the current uprising in Suwayda, and regime incompetence is exacerbating the dire economic situation across the whole of Syria. Meanwhile more than 130,000 people remain forcibly disappeared in horrific conditions and the International Court of Justice is currently hearing a case against the Syrian state for its ongoing use of torture.

Despite this catalogue of war crimes, the UAE and the UN are putting Assad back on the world stage – helping legitimise the regime’s atrocities and sending a clear message to all dictators that impunity is the rule of law.

Together, let’s show that we won’t stand for the UAE giving a brutal war criminal a platform at the world cup of climate conferences. We don’t have long so after you've signed, please help by sharing this petition widely with your friends and family.

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Sign the petition to stop Syrian war criminal Assad attending the COP 28 climate conference

To the United Arab Emirates, host of COP 28, and all member states of the United Nations

Brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad must be held to account for crimes against humanity, not given a platform to greenwash the Syrian regime’s atrocities at the world’s climate conference – his first international conference since 2011.

Inviting Assad sends a clear message to all war criminals that impunity is the rule of law. We call on the host of COP 28, the United Arab Emirates, to uninvite Assad and we urge all UN member states to oppose the Syrian regime attending COP.

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