The humanitarian workers in Syria were devastated once again by the brutality and the exceptional injustice that the criminals in Syria are meaning to establish as a norm in the Syrian conflict.
SNHR extends its most heartfelt condolences to the humanitarian martyr Alan Henning’s family after ISIS (Da’ish) announced yesterday (4 October, 2014) that he has been slaughtered. Alan Henning, who was a supporter of the Syrian revolution and a relief worker in the affected areas of Syria, is one of a long list of Syrian victims who are being killed every day, regardless of their age, gender, or backgrounds, in various methods including aerial shelling, chemical weapons, torturing to death, field-executions, suffocating siege, and many other methods whether it was at the hands of the Syrian regime, its affiliated militias, or ISIS.
Henning, 47-year-old, left his taxi that he was using to provide a living for his wife and two kids in Manchester to collect donations and work as a relief worker for Syria after the British doctor Abbas Khan died under torture at the Syrian regime detention centers (December 2013). Henning participated actively in aiding the affected kids in Syria and providing the field-hospitals with ambulances, medications, and medical instruments before he was kidnapped and executed in Syria at the hands of the enemies of humanity.
This crime reminds us of the focused crimes perpetrated by the Syrian regime and ISIS against relief activists where the Syrian regime have killed no less than 42 relief workers and 400 medics according to SNHR documenting team since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March 2011. On the other hand, ISIS targeted also relief workers in addition to media and legal activists and doctors in the opposition-held areas such as the killing of Ahmad Fahmi Ninal, a relief activist and member of Ahram Ash-Sham movement, while he was with a Malaysian relief convoy on 10 September, 2013.
We are very certain that activists’ and humanitarian groups’ willingness to deliver aids to the people in need in Syria will not be undermined after this crime while we affirm that it is absolutely important for all the Syrian and non-Syrian activists to be careful. Also, the Syrian opposition should provide protection to those groups in its territories. Furthermore, we renew our urges for the international community to seriously press on the Syrian regime in order to release tens of relief activist and end the siege against whole areas (Eastern Ghouta, Al-Yarmouk camp…) whom the Syrian regime is imposing as a collective punishment for the people in these areas because of their opposing political views.
The horrible story of Alan Henning illustrates the Syrian regime’s rooted responsibility for the violations and the horrible reality in Syria. The Syrian regime have displaced no less than 604 million IDPs and 402 million refugees which drove dozens of sympathizers from around the world to come and help the Syrian people including the British doctor Abbas Khan, who has died under torture at the hands of the Syrian regime along with 5644 others since the beginning of the Syrian revolutions in March 2011. Many of these sympathizers were killed not only by the Syrian regime but also by ISIS as a natural result of the war crimes and crimes against humanity that the Syrian regime perpetrated over the past few years.
This genetic connection between the Syrian regime and the violations that are happening in Syria is a message to the international community and the decision-makers who are trying to find a solution to the Syrian case and end the Syrian hell that fighting only ISIS, despite its brutality and bloodlessness, will grant both of the Syrian regime and ISIS an objective legitimacy as it implies that the Syrian regime (and its foreign Shiite and local militias) is innocent and has not been involved in the crimes against humanity, which was perpetrated by the Syrian regime itself, and hasn’t contributed to the disaster that is Syria today while it gives ISIS’s sectarian vision of the conflict a justification and credibility. The double-standard policy has provoked many people to join such terrorist organization in Syria and Iraq.