Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Statement about Casualties and Violation among Christians in the Syrian Revolution

Statement about Casualties and Violation among Christians in the Syrian Revolution

The Syrian Network for Human Rights has documented the death of 69 Syrian Christians form the beginning of the Syrian Revolution until 24-12-2012 including 3 children and 7 women. All the victims were civilians and were killed at the hands of the Syrian army and security forces affiliated to the Syrian government.

The following link includes a full documentation of the names, dates, photographs and videos of the victims and their distribution on Syrian governorates as documented by SNHR:

http://syrianhr.org/Upload/savefiles/CR.pdf

The main violations against Christians during the Revolution:

• Army forces shelled churches and predominantly-Christian areas:

A Meg fighter jet bombarded the Assyrian Christian village of Tal Nasri on 14 November 2012. A young man (Ninos Moneer) was killed in the bombardment and many others were injured. In addition, the bombardment caused much material damage to houses and worship places in this village 45 km off the center of Hassakeh governorate.

Regime forces also targeted the Virgin Mary Church in Bustan al-Diwan area in Homs during the intensive shelling on the city on 4 September 2012 directly hitting the church and destroying large parts of the building and the houses of the priests in the Church’s courtyard and causing material damage to its interior.

Saint Gawergious Church in Ghasaniya village nea Jesr al-Shoghour  was also hit by the shelling. The historical Um al-Zennar Church in Homs also received so much damage as army and security forces attacked and looted it.

Governmental forces fired a non-explosive shell on Mary’s Church in Seidnaya because those in charge of the church were involved in securing medical aid and relief for afflicted areas.

Moreover, a large number of churches and Christian schools were converted into military barracks where the regime would position its forces and artillery shelling adjacent areas and forcing their residents to flee.

A series of blasts also targeted the Christian Bab Toma square in Damascus. Revolution activists accused Syrian intelligence apparatus of being responsible for these blasts in such a sensitive area in order to incite sectarianism and causing Christians to feel threatened and afraid. The same pattern was observed in Jaramana in Damascus Suburbs as many bomb cars were blown up.

Suffering:

Christian activists are harassed and summoned for investigation. They are further harassed indirectly by sending them threats. Activists would receive phone calls threatening them that their families would be harmed if they didn’t suspend their activities. They might even be liquidated themselves. This has forced many Christian activists to flee the country such as female activist Yara Naseer and others who worked in al-Kasa’a, Bab Toma and Bab Sharki which are Christian areas in Damascus.

Activists named one protest day after Father Paulo in response to the Syrian government’s call for Father Paulo Dall’Oglio the head of Mar Mousa Monastery near Nabek in Damascus Suburbs to leave Syria.

Abduction:

Opposition activists further accused the intelligence forces of abducting and killing the Orthodox priest Fadi Jameel al-Haddad from Qatana in Damascus Suburbs. According to the activists, Haddad was involved in mediation to convince intelligence forces to release a Christian doctor who was abducted 10 days earlier from Qatana.

– Photos of priest Fadi Jameel al-Haddad

http://www.iraqup.com/up/20121225/2Ii82-CxPf_982144219.png

– Haddad’s funeral in Qatana:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ELonUg79YI

• Attached footage and photos from most Syrian governorates:

– Homs:

§ Churches in Old Homs incurred massive damages:

o Al-Salam Church, Bustan al-Diwan Street (massive damage)

o The Orthodox Church in Hamediya Street (limited damage)

o Um al-Zennar Church in Old Homs (massive damage)

o Mar Ilyas Church in Hamediya Street (massive damage)

o On 4 September 2012, Virgin Mary’s Church in Bustan al-Diwan came under random shelling by army forces:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dj0ntyz44A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN74A8C6PyM

o A historical church in Homs was destroyed due to fierce shelling by regime forces:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC-DPNoQ2Kc

o Footage of the damages incurred in Um al-Zennar Church in Hamediya in Homs due to random shelling by regime forces on 4 September 2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSuLu2G3iJE

o On14 June 2012, regime forces shelled Um al-Zennar Church in Hamediya in Homs with rockets and artillery:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4tvqre00u0

o Um al-Zennar Church was also shelled on 20 March 2012:

http://youtu.be/eqUcJG7unHY

o Footage of the impact of shelling on churches in Hamediya, Homs on 26 March 2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2yIrhQJO2A&feature

o Um al-Zennar Church was destroyed when it was hit by  rockets fired by army forces on 03 June 2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuENw1-AX9w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRJ51I_PFQQ

o Regime forces shelled the Anglican church in Homs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtGRRwFI6pw

o Al-Arbaeen Church in Old Homs came under random shelling by army forces on 30-05-2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQpo4fh1S6A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6oHzNqQj9E

o The historical church of Rouh al-Quds in Hamediya, Homs came under shelling by army forces on 11 September 2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cotuNh9Lcys

o Footage showing the army’s rocket shelling of the Roman Catholic Church in Homs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zrElh1rWzo

o Historical Um al-Zennar Church in Bustan al-Diwan in Homs came under shelling by regime forces on 26-03-2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOShLBgl7AY

o Sayedat al-Salam Church in Hamediya in Homs came under mortar shelling by regime forces on 06-09-2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmhC7OKJ2OY

o Army forces shelled al-Itehad Anglican Church in Homs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGWvO89G_o4

– Idleb:

o Ghassaniya village, Jesr al-Shoghour:

On 22-10-2012, Saint Gawergious Church came under the army’s random shelling:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiav1FdjU4g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng4xrnm9sYs

– Aleppo:

o Dar Ezza, Aleppo:

Saint Sama’an Church came under fierce rocket shelling by the regime forces on 31 May 2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SL7AefbPeo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMPIV-IPUK8

– Rakka:

o Tal Abyad, Rakka:

On 23 September2012, Tal Abyad Church came under random shelling by army forces:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWnDU0KtTgg

– Lattakia:

o Al-Ghuneima, Lattakia:

On 14 July 2012, the Armenian Church in Ghuneima, Lattakia came under random shelling by army forces:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNxKgPdZeyg

– Deir Ezzour:

o The Armenian Church in Deir Ezzour came under random shelling by army forces on 14 September 2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zk7Z_FUOV8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtQgj3RRhxw

It is noteworthy that many other cases remain undocumented as access is quite challenging particularly in the cases of massacres, siege of villages and towns and communication black out frequently imposed by the Syrian government. This makes the actual number of casualties and violations likely to be much higher as in many cases residents are forced to bury the dead in mass graves in fear of the spread of disease. This dilemma is mainly because the Syrian government bans any human rights organization from working on its territories.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) holds Bashar al-Assad, head of the state and Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian regime army, accountable for all acts of homicide, torture and massacres perpetrated in Syria as he holds the primary responsibility for issuing the orders for those acts. All members of the Syrian regime and heads of security and military apparatus are considered directly complicit in those acts as well as all those involved in funding and supporting this regime which continues, daily and systematically, to perpetrate massacres against civilians on a daily basis. All such parties shall be responsible for any public reactions and consequences and implications thereof.

SNHR calls on the UN, the UN Security Council and member staes to quickly take all necessary measures to protect civilians and fulfill their legal and moral responsibilities by accelerating the referral of all those responsible for the perpetration of these massacres to the International Criminal Court (ICC).  By failing to protect and support the Syrian people and civilian populations, they share a large part of the responsibility along with the Syria regime. 

Syrian Network for Human Rights – London
Website: www.syrianhr.org
Email: press@syrianhr.org
Skype: Syrianhr