Target: President Bashar al-Assad
Goal: Stop killing innocent civilians.
In times of war or rebellion those that suffer the most are civilians. Unfortunately this sad truth is coming to light in Syria, where civilians are executed without question by pro-government forces. This tactic of displacing citizens is meant to remove support from the opposition fighters that are based in Tartous, hence giving the pro-government forces an advantage. The tactic is also meant to scare the surviving citizens into submission and lower the opposition’s morale.
Amnesty International has raised concern for these extrajudicial executions because this movement has become a serious threat to the people. Recently a family of 13 people — including women and children — were deliberately killed by pro-government forces simply because they resided near the border of the fighting. Three brothers were found with bullet wounds outside their home. Inside were the bodies of four female relatives and six children between the ages of 2 and 13. These were innocent people who had nothing to do with the conflict at hand, they simply had the misfortune of living in an area that has become violent and merciless. The deliberate execution of this family came three months after a mass killing involving 250 civilians, who all came from the same village. Investigations revealed that the majority of these civilian deaths were the result of pro-government forces.
Eyewitnesses who survived the killings described the forces going from house to house, rounding up their unarmed victims. Women and children were also included. Then the forces proceeded to shoot them at point blank range and those that resisted were shot in their homes. These killings must stop. Innocent unarmed civilians should not killed in a conflict that they have no part of, certainly not children. Sign this petition and halt the executions.
Dear Bashar al-Assad,
There is growing concern about the number of civilian executions in your country. Extensive research conducted by investigators conclude that many of these atrocities are committed by pro-government forces looking to gain power. They have entered villages armed with guns and rounded up innocent civilians to execute, calling it a military tactic. These forces hope to vanquish opposition support and morale by lowering their numbers. These villagers have no part in the conflict and even if they did, a trial or investigation was not conducted for their benefit.
These murders need to stop. Innocent people — including children — should never be killed for political gain. If these forces wish to gain ground they should do it through the legal system, not by shooting away their opposition. It is a crime, it is immoral and it is inhumane.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Nicole Tung via TIME