Deraa must be allowed to receive aid and siege lifted, NGOs tell Syria
时间：2019-11-16 责任编辑：经薷工 来源：澳门银河官网网址 点击：79 次
Non-governmental organisations are calling for aid to be let in to the besieged southern city of Deraa amid signs that heavy-handed military operations there may be coming to an end.
"The siege should be lifted, food allowed in, and communications reinstated," said Nadim Houry, a senior researcher for as local semi-official newspaper al-Watan reported president Bashar al-Assad as saying the 10-day army operation would end "very soon".
The siege on the city has been the most brutal element of a vicious campaign to crush dissent that has led to widespread international condemnation. The on Tuesday called on Syria to allow its health workers safe access to people injured in bloody protests and let it visit those who have been arrested.
"We need to have larger access, especially in the south, and here I talk about Deraa," ICRC spokesman Hisham Hassan told a news briefing in Geneva.
There is growing evidence of a humanitarian crisis in the city. No one has been allowed in and reports trickling out paint a devastating picture of a population suffering from a lack of medical supplies, food and water. Communications are still cut off. Few agencies are licensed to work in and those who are have specific remits to work with Iraqi refugees, who fled in the wake of the US war on Iraq.
Meanwhile, some activists expressed concerns that protests could fizzle out as Syrians, who have braved security services' gunfire, fear becoming one of thousands being rounded up.
The London-based said hundreds had been charged with "maligning the prestige of the state", which carries a three-year sentence.
"I would rather be killed than be locked up and tortured," said one young man in the capital, echoing many others. "We know what happens to people inside."
, which has not been allowed access to Syria, on Tuesday revealed details of detainees who said they were beaten with batons and cables and subjected to harsh conditions. One said that after being stripped and beaten he was made to lick his blood off the floor.
Diplomats and some opposition figures continue to urge the government to undertake national dialogue. Over the past few weeks Assad has met with local delegations, and reportedly reached out to some national figures.
But Syrian observers said such efforts were a farce: "They have quashed the opposition and thrown intellectuals into jail," said Ayman Abdel Nour, a Syrian dissident in Dubai. Opposition figures and activists still at large told the Guardian they would not consider meetings until the violence stopped.
That did not seem imminent as witnesses said tanks were seen heading for areas around Homs central Syria.
Homs is the largest city in Syria to experience persistant protests calling for the end of Assad's 11-year rule, while 17 were shot dead in nearby Rastan on Friday.
A witness told Reuters he had seen 30 tanks and at least 60 trucks filled with soldiers, days after an eyewitness described to the Guardian the area around Rastan as looking like a "war zone".
Katherine Marsh is a pseudonym of a journalist living in Damascus