The FDFA strongly condemns the serious violations of international humanitarian law in Syria

Press release, 25.07.2016

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is very concerned about the intensification of the conflict in Syria in recent weeks. It strongly condemns all the violations of international humanitarian law and the human rights violations and abuses committed by all parties to the conflict. The FDFA calls on all parties to the conflict to allow rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to the area east of Aleppo and condemns the damage inflicted on Switzerland's partner NGOs.

The bombardments of residential areas in Aleppo, which have also repeatedly taken a toll on vital infrastructures, is particularly worrying. Last weekend, four hospitals and one blood bank were hit by the attacks and patients and health professionals were killed or injured, leaving the civilian population without access to medical care.
 
Strikes against Douma, on the outskirts of Damascus, also hit the city's market last weekend, killing 15 people. Air strikes also seriously damaged the headquarters of four Syrian organisations that are working to promote peace and human rights. Two of those NGOs are supported by the FDFA as part of Switzerland's programme to promote peace in Syria. One is the Violations Documentation Centre, which documents violations of international humanitarian law and human rights violations committed by all parties to the conflict, and the other is the Local Development and Small Projects Support Office, which works with local municipalities to improve their governance and curb the militarisation of society.

The FDFA strongly condemns these serious violations of international humanitarian law and calls on all parties to the conflict to comply with the rules on the conduct of hostilities, in particular the principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality. The FDFA condemns in particular all attacks against medical facilities and calls for the protection of civilian populations and infrastructures and for the immediate and lasting improvement of humanitarian access in order to ensure that the basic needs of the civilian population can be met.

Switzerland's efforts in the context of the Syrian conflict are based on three pillars: Switzerland contributes to the search for a political solution to the conflict, provides aid to civilians in need of humanitarian assistance and works to ensure compliance with international law. Switzerland is working closely with its UN, international and local partners to implement these three priorities.


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs