Abandoning Humanity in Regards to Refugees

According to the United Nations, more than nine million Syrians are in need of “urgent aid” and the United Kingdom will have “abandoned its humanity” if it does not open its doors to Syrian refugees, former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell said.

The BBC reports that the U.K. has declined to join a U.N.-backed program to accept victims of the vicious Syrian civil war. Only 10 European Union member states have been willing to take part in the U.N.-led resettlement program.

In September 2013, a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said: “Resettlement of refugees, whether formal resettlement or expedited location… is a vital and potentially life-saving tool for helping particularly vulnerable refugees.” Amnesty International has said E.U. leaders have “miserably failed” to provide a safe haven to Syrians.

Despite the fact it is believed more could be done, the U.K. has provided 320,000 people with food in Syria and in neighboring countries; 244,000 people have received medical assistance. Most of these citizens look forward to returning home as soon as it is safe to do so and protection is provided in the region. Sir Menzies Campbell of the U.K. suggested the government was afraid of political backlash from rising immigration levels.

Recent reports from The Guardian explain that Syrian government officials could face war crimes charges from the large amount of evidence smuggled out of the country showing the systematic killing of approximately 11,000 detainees, according to eminent international lawyers. The UN and independent human rights groups have documented abuses by both Bashar al-Assad’s government and the rebel forces. The difference between this evidence and the past 4 months is the large scale killings taking place now.

Professor David Crane, who indicted President Charles Taylor of Liberia at the Sierra Leone court during those war crimes, said “Now we have direct evidence of what was happening to people who had disappeared. This is the first provable, direct evidence of what has happened to at least 11,000 human beings who have been tortured and executed and apparently disposed of.”

Everyone who has been killed was photographed in a horrific manner. The Guardian says the reason for photographing the people who had been executed was twofold. The first reason is because of the photograph families do not have to see the body in person and the authorities are left out of the situation. The second reason is to confirm the orders to execute an individual were carried out.

With appalling conditions such as these transpiring in Syria, it is no wonder refugees are hastily leaving everything they have behind.

Lindsey Lerner

Sources: BBC, The Guardian