President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Nasr al-Hariri, sent a legal memorandum to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, regarding the racist attacks against Syrian asylum seekers in Greece.
Al-Hariri said that Syrian asylum seekers in Greece are subjected to continuous abuses, perpetrated by public officials, along with groups directed by racist motives, with the actual participation or collusion of the Greek authorities.
“We have received several reports of cases of willful killing or injury leading to death, along with frequent reports of grave violations committed against refugees, such as arbitrary detention, torture, abuse of human dignity and harassment of women and children,” the memo said.
Al-Hariri pointed out that “in the investigation of the causes of the fire in the Moria camp, on the island of Lesbos, the information confirmed that it was deliberately sparked, and led to the displacement of approximately 13,000 refugees.”
“The repeated acts in Greece amount to crimes against humanity, and in accordance with the Rome Statute, and as Greece is a signatory to it, the perpetrators must receive their fair penalty.”
He added: “We affirm that the civilians in Syria, victims of the Russian-Iranian Asadi bombing, are living the worst humanitarian catastrophe that the world is facing after World War II, and are paying the price for international failure to stop the brutal attacks on them.”
“The root cause of the Syrian refugee crisis is Bashar al-Assad, who is continuously and systematically planning and implementing the displacement of two-thirds of the Syrian population with the support of Russia and Iran.”
“Realizing its implications for the credibility of the international institutions and the values of the free world, and we are keen not to collapse the principles on which the international system was founded, we warn of the repercussions of failure to save the Syrian people on international peace and security.”
Al-Hariri request a referral of the memorandum to the competent authorities in order to oblige the aforementioned countries to their humanitarian duties towards Syrian refugees, and by taking practical measures to achieve the following goals. He also called for respect of the 1951 Geneva Convention regarding signed refugees, and treat arrivals in transit countries in accordance with its provisions.
He also called for redressing refugee victims by compensating them financially and morally for the physical and psychological damage they suffered as a result of the actions of the elements of these countries.
Furthermore, Al-Hariri called for referring those involved in the violations described above to the national judiciary, the European Court of Human Rights, or the International Criminal Court.
He also called for exerting more pressure on the regime, Russia and Iran to stop their hostile attacks on Idlib and their return to the borders of the four de-escalation zones, specified in the memorandum of understanding concluded in Astana, so that the people of the areas from which they were displaced can return to it.
Moreover, the memo called for initiating an international campaign to support the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria; initiating measures to ensure accountability for perpetrators of violations and prevent impunity for the Assad regime, Russia and Iran; and for providing real, serious and productive support for the political process based on Security Council resolutions, especially 2254. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)