NPWJ: Safe corridor for civilians a must in Aleppo

13 Dec, 2016 | Press Releases

Brussels, 13 December 2016
As Syrian forces retake the city of Aleppo, disturbing reports of field executions by government forces and militias, backed by Russia and Iran, are beginning to emerge. “Safe spaces for civilians – for men, women and children – are shrinking as neighbourhood after neighbourhood is captured by the Syrian army and its allies,” said Niccolò Figà-TalamancaNPWJ Secretary-General. “As if the shelling and destruction were not enough, these forces are now reportedly carrying out executions of both combatants and civilians, particularly those suspected of having ties to opposition groups. This is a travesty: both the laws of war and ordinary decency require that civilian men, women and children be given safe passage, not have their lives taken from them. Combatants should not be executed, but captured and treated in accordance with the law.”

The offensive takes place just hours after Russia rejected a US proposal for an immediate ceasefire, saying it could not start for several days. “Russia and Iran are clearly important players in this latest round of atrocities”, Mr Figà-Talamanca continued. “It is clear that the net of accountability needs to catch Russian and Iranian individuals involved in planning and implementing these crimes. But more urgently, Russia and Iran must exercise their leverage to ensure the safe passage of civilians out of Aleppo, lest even more blood be on their hands. We call on the Governments of Russia and Iran, as well as the Government of Syria, to establish a humanitarian corridor immediately and to instruct their forces to stop killing innocent men, women and children.”

– For further information, please contact Gianluca Eramo (MENA Democracy program Coordinator) on or Nicola Giovannini (Press & Public Affairs Coordinator) on or +32-2-548-3915.
– Visit the special page dedicated to NPWJ’s Syria Project on Justice and Accountability.