The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement deplores the death of another Red Crescent Volunteer in Syria

16-01-2014 Statement

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is outraged by the death of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) volunteer Hekmat Mohamad Kerbaj, of the Dumair sub-branch, (Rural Damascus branch) who Died on the 8th due to mistreatment during over 5 months of disappearance. He was found on a sidewalk in Jaramana, in Rural Damascus on 5th ofJanuary and taken into hospital but his condition was terminal.

In total, 34 SARC volunteers have lost their lives since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, all of them killed or captured while carrying out their humanitarian duties. They were all clearly displaying the Red Crescent emblem, which should have given them protection under international humanitarian law.

As the Humanitarian situation deteriorates, Hekmat’s death reflects the difficulties and dangers that aid workers and SARC volunteers are facing in Syria.

The Movement calls once more upon all parties involved in the conflict in Syria to respect the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and guarantee the safety of aid workers and their unimpeded, immediate access to people in need across the country. We also calling on all those who have an influence on the ground to help us ensure aid reaches those most in need. Without this respect, saving lives and providing much-needed assistance to millions of Syrians will become close to impossible.  

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement expresses its heartfelt sympathy to the family of Hekmat Mohamad Kerbaj and its full solidarity with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. We urge every member of the Movement – every volunteer, staff and supporter – to stand in solidarity with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and to continue to renew and reinforce our repeated joint call for the respect and protection of volunteers and aid workers in Syria.