Yesterday evening, February 19th 2018, our colleague and member of our Eastern Ghouta team, Bilal Altaweel, went back from the office in Douma to his home in the nearby town of Hazzeh, only to witness the death of his wife and three-and-half-years-old child as a result of the barbaric escalation of violence, that started a few weeks ago and severely intensified in the last days, by the Assad’s regime and his allies, the Russian Federation and Iran, on Eastern Ghouta, under siege for more than five years.
There is no description, nor there will be any words or actions that could rise to the level of pain that Bilal must feel.
There is no description, nor there will be any words or actions that could rise to the level of pain of the inhabitants of Ghouta, losing their family members and relatives in such a savagery.
There is no description, nor there will be any words or actions that could rise to the level of powerlessness and bitterness that the Syrians feel in the face of the regime’s killing machine highly reinforced by the Russian Federation.
We only can suspend our action for a week to show support to our colleague and ask our international partners to show their real support by addressing the Secretary General of the UN to ask for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to impose an immediate ceasefire on the regime and its allies, and in the case of the use of the Russian VETO that is holding the security council as a hostage, take the matter to the General Assembly of the UN to issue a clear and direct condemnation of the regime and its allies for their systematic targeting of civilians that have cost hundreds of thousands of their lives, among which tens of thousands of women and children.
To Bilal we address our sincere condolences with a deep sorrow and frustration for our incapacity to provide protection to his family, as well as to provide any protection to all of the civilians in Eastern Ghouta and elsewhere in Syria.
We only can give our oath to do whatever we can to continue helping their resilience, a contribution that is almost insignificant when compared with their daily suffering.
On the 20th of February, 2018
LDSPS in Douma