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Syria: Comprehensive humanitarian access needed after aid delivery to besieged Daraya thwarted and followed by deadly shelling

    May 12, 2016

    The Syrian government’s refusal today to allow a sorely needed humanitarian aid convoy into the town of Daraya is a cruel reality check of the suffering of thousands of civilians besieged there since 2012, Amnesty International said.

    The cancellation of the delivery was followed by mortar shelling of Daraya by government forces, killing a father and his son and injuring at least five other civilians. The delivery would have been the first since the siege began more than three years ago but was eventually cancelled after Syrian government forces held it up for some seven hours outside Daraya. It included medical and educational items and baby milk but, critically, did not include food. 

    “Not only was the limited aid long overdue, and it excluded food, the number one need for thousands of civilians, but it was blocked and then followed by what appears to have been indiscriminate shelling, killing and injuring civilians,” said Neil Sammonds, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Syria.

    “Thousands of civilians in Daraya need food and other essential humanitarian aid. They need also to be spared from relentless and unlawful military attacks by government forces. This is not only what the people of Daraya need to survive, but also what is demanded by international humanitarian law, UN Security Council resolutions and by the International Syria Support Group.”

    For more of Amnesty International’s work on the siege on Daraya, see the following video and press release:

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/04/syria-terrifying-eyewitness-video-of-life-under-siege-and-barrel-bombs/

    For more of Amnesty International’s work on besieged areas across Syria, see the following briefing:

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/MDE24/023/2014/en/

    For further information contact 

    Aden Seaton/Sarah French 613-744-7667 ext 263