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International Conscience Movement calls for release of Syrian women and children

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A major conference has been held in Istanbul, Turkey by the International Conscience Movement, an NGO who's aim is to attention to the suffering of women who are being tortured, raped, executed, imprisoned and made refugees since the beginning of the war in Syria.

Their aim is to make advocacy and initiate diplomatic attempts to release all female prisoners unlawfully held in Syria, and to invite all humanity to take effective measures to protect women and girls in conflict and war.

Over 90 delegates from 45 countries were present to listen to strong testimony from Syrian women who have had first hand experience of torture and imprisonment at the hands of the Syrian regime.

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Messages of support were received from politicians, human rights organisations, NGOs and individuals from over 110 countries.

The International Conscience Movement launched a message to the world, which says:

“We, as the human family, are repeatedly warned in all religious and moral texts in order not to fight, or in the case of war put on notice to respect human, moral and legal rules. However, at the present time, even if almost all of the states are a party to international conventions, crimes against humanity continue to be committed in the war geographies, which are becoming more and more violent and pushing the limits of reason. And we can neither punish those who commit these crimes, nor can we stop these cruel practices. We all know that history of humanity is full of bloody battles.

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When we look at every hundred years of the last 7000 years of world history, only 13 years have lived in peace. We failed to prevent wars, but unfortunately we always managed to die and kill the masses! We know that people around the world have suffered a lot, and continue to do so. The two world wars of the last century are the wars that are mentioned today with great sadness and held up as an example. In these battles, millions of people died in every colour from all over the world. However, each of the taken lives was just as precious as our very own lives, and each one’s dreams were as colourful and rich as our dreams.

Their loved ones were dear as much as our beloved ones. Numerous war crimes have been committed in these wars. Almost every house, every street, every mosque, every church, every synagogue prayed to never ever suffer again; but neither the battles are over nor the suffering… Another brutal war that the world has seen began in March 2011 in SYRIA. During the Syrian war, we witnessed many war crimes and crimes against humanity accompanied by live broadcasts and we continue to be: We watched the children who have been killed by prohibited chemical and biological weapons, barrel bombs and who died in agony.

Torture, rape, executions, mass killings, mass graves, deportation of millions of people and many persecutions… According to official records, more than 450,000 people died during the war in Syria. The number of unrecorded deaths and losses is unknown. Up until today, over 13,500 women have been sentenced and over 7,000 women are still tortured, raped every day in these prisons and exposed to inhumane oppression. The Syrian regime has used rape as a weapon and continues to use it. The number of people held in buildings empty factory, hangar etc. used as prisons is unknown. Some women were taken while pregnant and gave birth in places where they were held; some women were imprisoned with their children…

Some women have been raped repeatedly where they have been held and forced to give birth to children who were the result of rape. The UN Independent International Syrian Research Commission noted that fewer cases of sexual violence were reported for reasons such as stigmatization and trauma. The relevant international conventions, in particular the Geneva Conventions, have introduced regulations for the non-destruction of the civilian population and the prevention of human rights violations in the conditions of war. The 4th of the Geneva Conventions are organized specifically for the rights of the civilian population. Basically, in this context, “Everyone is entitled to enjoyment of the basic legal guarantees. No one can be held responsible for a crime he has not committed. No one shall be subjected to physical and psychological torture, to corporal punishment, or to indignity or degrading treatment. The conflicting parties and armed forces do not have an unlimited choice of methods and means of war. It is forbidden to use combat vehicles and methods that will lead to unlimited, excessive pain and unnecessary losses. The conflicting parties will always differentiate between the civilian population and the fighters in order to protect the civilian population; neither the civilian population nor the civilians would be the target of the attack.”

Because we are human! In addition, the Geneva Conventions regulated specifically the protection of women: • Women will be subject to special respect and will be protected more particularly against rape, forced prostitution and all other kinds of immoral attacks. • The conditions of pregnant women and mothers with dependent children, who are arrested or detained in respect of armed conflict, shall be evaluated in maximum. • The parties, in maximum, shall endeavour to refrain from obeying the death penalty for pregnant women or women with dependent children due to an offense of conflict. Death penalty for such crimes will not be performed on women having these characteristics.

 Also according to the four Geneva Conventions of Common Article 3. “High Contracting Parties in the case of conflict, an armed non-international character occurring in the territory, each of the parties to the conflict shall at least be obliged to apply the following provisions: Persons, including the armed forces who left their weapons and non-combatant ones because of illness, injury, arrest or any other reason, who do not take an active part in collisions will be treated in all conditions without discrimination according to race, colour, religion and belief, gender, birth or wealth or a similar criterion. For this purpose, the persons mentioned above shall be prohibited to do the following treatments anywhere and by any means: a) violence against life and person; in particular all kinds of killing, cruel behaviour and torture b) Hostage c) Infringement upon personal dignity, especially humiliating and degrading behaviour d) Penalization and execution of penalties without a regular court decision, which provides all judicial guarantees accepted as indispensable by civilized nations International conventions, states that must effectively implement these conventions, international jurisdiction mechanisms and all components of the international community recognize that people are under guard of these basic principles and public conscience even in cases that are not regulated by the legal rules.

The protection of human life and dignity is a fundamental principle. We believe that the effect of the law and the manifestation of justice can only be possible if the action of PUBLIC CONSCIENCE and SENSE OF HUMANITY is activated. We all know that PEACE is the most BENEFICIAL for all people. But it is not as easy as war to build peace. Nevertheless, we want a law for war too, to prevent the brutality. BECAUSE we’re HUMAN and we want to do befitting a human being. We say war must have law, have morality. Whether it is an international war or a local war or conflict, the above is a war crime, and everyone responsible for it must be prosecuted and accounted for not only the victims but also the whole human family. Who we are?

WE are silent scream rising from the Syrian dungeons. We are sense of humanity. We are the believers of that people, regardless of their religion, language, race, colour, must live in a dignified and humane way without being tortured and persecuted. We are the prayers and words that rise from the hearts and lips of all the people on earth, for the freedom of every women and children prisoners who are cruelly incarcerated in the Syrian war. WE, for all of us, believe that a just world where human rights are protected can only be possible with the freedom of Syrian women and children.

And WE ARE RIGHT NOW! WE WANT FREEDOM FOR IMPRISONED WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN SYRIA"

 

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Economy

Issuance of green bonds will strengthen the international role of the euro

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Eurogroup ministers discussed the international role of the euro (15 February), following the publication of the European Commission's communication of (19 January), ‘The European economic and financial system: fostering strength and resilience’.

President of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe said: “The aim is to reduce our dependence on other currencies, and to strengthen our autonomy in various situations. At the same time, increased international use of our currency also implies potential trade-offs, which we will continue to monitor. During the discussion, ministers emphasized the potential of green bond issuance to enhance the use of the euro by the markets while also contributing to achieving our climate transition objective.”

The Eurogroup has discussed the issue several times in recent years since the December 2018 Euro Summit. Klaus Regling, the managing director of the European Stability Mechanism said that overreliance on the dollar contained risks, giving Latin America and the Asian crisis of the 90s as examples. He also referred obliquely to “more recent episodes” where the dollar’s dominance meant that EU companies could not continue to work with Iran in the face of US sanctions. Regling believes that the international monetary system is slowly moving towards a multi-polar system where three or four currencies will be important, including the dollar, euro and renminbi. 

European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, agreed that the euro’s role could be strengthened through the issuance of green bonds enhancing the use of the euro by the markets while also contributing to achieving our climate objectives of the Next Generation EU funds.

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Ministers agreed that broad action to support the international role of the euro, encompassing progress on amongst other things, Economic and Monetary Union, Banking Union and Capital Markets Union were needed to secure the euros international role.

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EU

European human rights court backs Germany over Kunduz airstrike case

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An investigation by Germany into a deadly 2009 airstrike near the Afghan city of Kunduz that was ordered by a German commander complied with its right-to-life obligations, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday (16 February), writes .

The ruling by the Strasbourg-based court rejects a complaint by Afghan citizen Abdul Hanan, who lost two sons in the attack, that Germany did not fulfil its obligation to effectively investigate the incident.

In September 2009, the German commander of NATO troops in Kunduz called in a U.S. fighter jet to strike two fuel trucks near the city which NATO believed had been hijacked by Taliban insurgents.

The Afghan government said at the time 99 people, including 30 civilians, were killed. Independent rights groups estimated between 60 and 70 civilians were killed.

The death toll shocked Germans and ultimately forced its defence minister to resign over accusations of covering up the number of civilian casualties in the run-up to Germany’s 2009 election.

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Germany’s federal prosecutor general had found that the commander did not incur criminal liability, mainly because he was convinced when he ordered the airstrike that no civilians were present.

For him to be liable under international law, he would have had to be found to have acted with intent to cause excessive civilian casualties.

The European Court of Human Rights considered the effectiveness of Germany’s investigation, including whether it established a justification for lethal use of force. It did not consider the legality of the airstrike.

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Of 9,600 NATO troops in Afghanistan, Germany has the second-largest contingent behind the United States.

A 2020 peace agreement between the Taliban and Washington calls for foreign troops to withdraw by May 1, but U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is reviewing the deal after a deterioration in the security situation in Afghanistan.

Germany is preparing to extend the mandate for its military mission in Afghanistan from March 31 until the end of this year, with troop levels remaining at up to 1,300, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

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EU

Digitalization of EU justice systems: Commission launches public consultation on cross-border judicial co-operation

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On 16 February, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the modernization of EU justice systems. The EU aims to support member states in their efforts to adapt their justice systems to the digital age and improve EU cross-border judicial co-operation. Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders (pictured) said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of digitalization, including in the field of justice. Judges and lawyers need digital tools to be able to work together faster and more efficiently.

At the same time, citizens and businesses need online tools for an easier and more transparent access to justice at a lower cost. The Commission strives to push this process forward and support member states in their efforts, including as regards facilitating their cooperation in cross-border judicial procedures by using digital channels.” In December 2020, the Commission adopted a communication outlining the actions and initiatives intended to advance the digitalization of justice systems across the EU.

The public consultation will gather views on the digitalization of EU cross-border civil, commercial and criminal procedures. The results of the public consultation, in which a broad range of groups and individuals can participate and which is available here until 8 May 2021, will feed into an initiative on digitalisation of cross-border judicial cooperation expected at the end of this year as announced in the 2021 Commission's Work Programme.

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