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Syria: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement condemns the killing of yet another SARC volunteer

20-05-2013 News Release

Statement / Geneva / Damascus - The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement condemns the killing of Abdo Darwish, a driver with the Al-Hassakeh branch of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent who was shot dead on his way to work on 14 May.

Mr Darwish was wearing his Syrian Arab Red Crescent uniform, clearly indicating his affiliation with the Movement, when he was targeted by snipers and shot at.   

With the tragic death of Mr Darwish, the conflict in Syria has now claimed the lives of twenty Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers – all of them killed while carrying out their humanitarian duties.

Regrettably, for the past couple of months, with violence intensifying throughout the country, attacks against health-care workers and relief personnel have been on the rise.  There have been reports of numerous instances of attacks, direct and indirect, against the property of the Syrian Red Crescent, including cars and premises clearly displaying its emblem. The  shelling of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s branch in Homs, on 15 May, is the latest incident of this kind.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) together call for the immediate protection of volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and all other personnel affiliated with the Movement.

It is also absolutely essential that all sides facilitate the work of these courageous volunteers, and of all other humanitarian workers, by respecting the emblems displayed on their premises, vehicles and clothing. Without this respect for these emblems – including those of the Movement, saving lives and offering much-needed assistance for millions of Syrians will become close to impossible.  

For further information, please contact:

Rima Kamal, ICRC Damascus, tel: +963 930 33 67 18 or +963 11 331 0476

Marie-Servane Desjonquères, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 34 43

Vivian Tou’me, Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Damascus, tel: +963 11 332 7645 or +963 959 999 639

Jessica Sallabank, IFRC, tel:  : +41 799 481148