The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed its deep shock and anguish over loss of hundreds of innocent lives, which include women and children, during recent escalation of hostilities in Eastern Ghoutha in Syria in one of the worst episodes of violence in the seven-year long unremitting internecine war.
The Commission upheld that the targeting of innocent non-combatant civilians is a gross transgression of Islamic teachings and traditions and serious violation of international human rights law, which amounts to war crimes. While strongly condemning the on-going human rights violations, IPHRC reminded all parties to the conflict in Syria of their obligations to protect civilians and abide by international humanitarian and human rights law.
The Commission echoed the emphatic appeal by the UN Secretary General that “Eastern Ghouta cannot wait. It’s high time to stop this hell on earth” as well as the reminder by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Security Council to walk the talk to stop the colossal human sufferings. The Commission, while welcoming the unanimous adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2401, called on the parties to Syria’s conflict to cease hostilities without delay, ensuring a “durable humanitarian pause” to enable unhindered humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded.
The Commission also urged the United Nations and the key stakeholders to expedite conclusion of an all-inclusive negotiated peace settlement to bring an end to the protracted crisis in Syria, the worst humanitarian and refugee disaster of our time, which has claimed more than half a million lives and forced over 10 million to be displaced from their homes.