News coming out of eastern Aleppo tells of large-scale arrests, disappearances, mass murders and hundreds of people killed or trapped under buildings destroyed by bombs.
In response to ´A message from besieged Eastern Aleppo´, signed by four organizations with whom we work, PAX sent the following message of support to our partners, colleagues and friends in Syria:
Dear Syrian Friends,
Since you first appealed for your freedom, we have tried to be your allies. When you ventured out to provide children an education, even in the midst of violence, or to rescue people or to give medical care, we have tried to be your supporters.
We were moved and inspired by your struggle for a free and democratic Syria. When more and more communities came under siege, we worked with you in calling for their lifting. We heard how the schools are closed and destroyed, the hospitals are being bombed. Now, as we witness the horrors taking place in Aleppo, we do not want to abandon you.
We have heard your cry for help and protection. We have relayed your message to politicians and to UN and EU officials. They are for the most part sympathetic, but say they are powerless. Indeed, they have failed to prevent this tragedy.
We heard your calls not to forget the people of Aleppo. We asked Dutch people to light a candle and send a message of solidarity, hundreds have responded. We will repeat our call to keep candles burning: it is a way for people to show that they care.
We hear your fear for the people in Aleppo who have been taken by the regime and its allies, for the people who are disappearing, for the men arrested or forced to serve in the army, and of course, for those who are murdered. We are deeply worried about the people still trapped.
We will continue to support you in whatever way we can, continue to listen to your needs. Your calls for help keep us from turning away, keep pressure on us to do something. We will demand from every politician, every UN official, every EU civil servant, whom we meet, to uncover the truth about what happened to the citizens of Aleppo, to the activists that are arrested, to the people who are missing and to hold those responsible accountable. We will also tell them that they still have a chance to prevent another disaster in Douma, Madaya, al-Waer and Idlib.
We will continue to fight with you for a different kind of world, one in which every life is cherished. We will try to be your allies, your supporters and your friends. Each and every day we ask how much of the night has passed in Syria. Now it is still night. Night and darkness symbolizes misery, distress and disaster. It is still night, but together with you we stay convinced and pray that the morning will soon come.
Jan Gruiters, PAX General Director
This message of support has also been translated into Arabic.