Syria: Civilians Protection and Invisible Conflict Parties


Zahed Davodi – TRANSCEND Media Service

As a supporter of Amnesty International, I receive campaigns updates which are urging to take action and to raise voices for protection of people.

Usually the campaigns come with a draft email(s) addressing an authority urging them to use their influence in stopping violence or to defend the rights of someone or a group of people. I do sign and submit some of these drafts and where required bring some changes to the drafts prior submitting. I change them as I believe that Amnesty is partially under influence of its donor countries and sometimes cannot act as an independent organisation to do its work – i.e. to protect people wherever justice, fairness, freedom and truth are denied. I think, sometimes Amnesty finds it difficult to identify the conflict parties in a realistic way. There are many cases I’ve observed in the last couple of years but here I cover one of those cases.

Two years of Syrian unrest has resulted millions flee their homes and millions of victims – death or injured. The recent chemical weapon use in Damascus’ suburb ended up with a tragic and a benchmarking event in the international community. It is now obvious that the conflict parties involved in Syrian civil war are not only the ones inside Syria, but also a number of external actors which are fuelling the flame of this conflict.

With this regard, Crisis Response campaign team of Amnesty has drafted two separate emails addressing Dr Bashar Ja’afari – permanent representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the UN – and Ahmad Jarba – President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces – asking them to use their influence and position “to ensure that civilians and all those no longer participating in hostilities are protected in the ongoing non-international armed conflict currently taking place in Syria.”

I have signed and submitted these drafts but thought the action should be made in a wider range i.e. through identification of a wider range of conflict parties. Hence, I sent an additional email to the Crisis Response Campaign Manager at Amnesty and copied Dr Bashar Ja’afari and Ahmad Jarba with the hope that Amnesty International see the conflicts in a better way and possibly improve their incredible and fantastic campaigns in the future. I also hope that the Syrian conflict parties understand how far they’ve gone with this power-seeking game.

Dear Kristyan Benedict,

I’ve just sent the drafted email to two of the conflict parties in Syria about protecting civilians.

I have some comments.

In my view, the conflict parties in Syria are not only the government and oppositions. I think oppositions are not led by a single person – named as Ahmad Jarba – but there are many others in other groups who never see or listen to this person. They are all being called as oppositions because they have a common aim for now. And there are many external actors including some members of the international community who fuel the flame of the conflict in Syria.

I believe that Amnesty International shall indentify all of the major conflict parties in Syria for this civilian protection campaign. Namely the ones who provide weapons for both of oppositions and the government. The ones who produced and sold the chemical weapons to Syria.

 Also in this page abuses of the Syrian government has been listed, but not anything about the oppositions’ abuses:

 Like many others I think that President Asad is not the ideal leader of the majority in Syria, but who would lead the country in the future? Hopefully not another appointed/ assigned/supported person by the West.

 “Take Action” please.

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