Douma Massacre Anniversary: War Criminals Belong in Jail, Not Power

[16 August 2017] – Syrian civil society commemorate the victims of the Douma massacre on its second anniversary, urging the international community to support Syrians in their demand for a political transition to be a key component of any peace process. The Douma massacre—one of the deadliest in the history of the conflict—left more than 100 civilians dead and hundreds wounded when the regime attacked the city’s main market with repeated aerial strikes. ​

“The massacre is remembered of one of the most horrific and deliberate attacks on civilians throughout the conflict. By striking a market, at the exact moment that it was crowded with families buying vegetables and bread, the Syrian regime ensured it inflicted as many civilian casualties as possible,” Husam Alkatlaby, Executive Director of the Violations Documentation Center said.

“Unfortunately, the Douma massacre did not serve as a wake-up call to the international community, and tens of thousands of civilians have been unlawfully killed by the regime since. We hoped that we would never again have to meet our commemoration of the Douma massacre with a plea to stop the war”.

Mazen Darwish, President of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression states, “Each time we reach a new sombre anniversary, it is a reminder that it is inconceivable for the Syrian people to accept a political solution that does not bring to justice war criminals responsible for the Douma massacre and other indiscriminate attacks against civilians across Syria. And regardless of the deals made by the international community, any political settlement will not be able to continue unless it meets the demands of the Syrian people to move to a state of citizenship and law based on dignity, freedom and justice”.

Vast numbers of Syrian civil society organizations have made very clear – in this letter to UN Special Envoy de Mistura – that any attempt to take political transition off the negotiating table will not be accepted.

Photos: Firas Abdullah