What happens in U.S. occupation zone in Syria
The Foundation for the Study of Democracy non-governmental organization carried out a sociological survey of 291 refugees who managed to leave the Rukban camp. On the sidelines of the panel session titled 'The situation in the American Zone of Occupation in Syria: a view of human rights defenders and experts', the report 'Rukban camp: Tragedy of the Syrians in the American Zone of Occupation' was presented.
A member of two Councils under the President of the Russian Federation - for Civil Society and Human Rights and for Interethnic Relations, Alexander Brod, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria should not be left out of sight: "The Russian Federation provides there humanitarian support. The Syrian state also has resources, but it is necessary to exclude the influence of other countries, the United States in particular. A serious struggle is being waged against radical terrorist extremist groups, so I believe that Syria is able to ensure its security on its own. Of course, it will take time. But international human rights organizations, conscious political forces should continue to provide assistance."
"For this purpose, the report that we presented today is very relevant. It draws attention to pressing problems, which have largely been resulted from external influences on the territory, human rights abuses, humanitarian catastrophes and problems of civilian genocide. The more we make such reports with calls to the international community, the greater the chance that people will come to their senses and enable this state to develop," Alexander Brod said.
During the panel session, he also noted that after the Russian armed forces have begun to provide humanitarian assistance to Syria and support in the fight against international terrorism at the invitation of the Syrian authorities, the situation has started to improve: "More than 67,000 square kilometers of Syrian territory, more that a thousand of settlements were liberated. However, about 7 million refugees have fled the country seeking safety in 45 states; more than half a million people died, about a million people were injured or disabled. There is a generation of children which have grown up knowing nothing but war. The spontaneous camp, which is located in the 55-kilometer exclusion zone around the U.S. base, has become a symbol of the Syrian humanitarian tragedy of recent years. Most of the respondents spent from two to four years in the camp."
According to Brod, the presented study revealed the pattern of violations of basic human rights - freedom of movement, lack of access to healthy foods, health care and education. It reports about cases of blackmail, rape and sexual assault. "The study demonstrates the policy of double standards pursued by the United States and a number of countries in the Middle East. The receipt of such materials was accompanied by serious dangers and risks to the lives of those who sought to shed some light on the real humanitarian situation in Syria. Such work must be continued, brought to the attention of the international community, this report should be translated into different languages and sent to international organizations, once again proving that this is a flagrant crime against humanity, against all humanitarian and legal rules," Brod believes.
Speaking at the presentation of the report, chairwoman of the Civic Chamber Commission for the Development of Public Diplomacy, Cultural Cooperation and Preservation of Traditional Values Elena Sutormina noted that, unfortunately, UN humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugee camp has fallen into the hands of terrorists. "Thanks to the efforts of Russia and Syria, more than 17,000 people left the refugee camp in July this year. According to them, the camp is controlled by militants. The U.S. military patrols the perimeter, but does not intervene. Militants demand $300 or even more for the permit to leave the camp. But there is no work in the camp, there are a lot of old people, people with disabilities, women and children. Of course, this is a gross violation of international law, in particular, the UN Refugee Convention, the 2015 UN Security Council resolution 2254 on Syria, according to which, the rights of all Syrians regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination must be protected, and humanitarian access throughout the country must be ensured."
"What is happening at the Rukban camp is a direct violation of human rights, it's not a humanitarian or rescue mission. The United States and its accomplices deprive camp residents of the right to move freely and choose residence at their discretion. We will send our appeal to the UN, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in order to raise these issues," Sutormina assured.