Saturday, 24 January 2015

Shot in Cairo carrying flowers: Shaimaa al-Sabbagh



From The New York Times:
A woman was killed on Saturday in Cairo when the police fired shotgun pellets at a handful of socialist activists carrying flowers and marching to Tahrir Square to commemorate the hundreds of demonstrators killed there during the revolution that began on Jan. 25, 2011, her fellow activists said.

The protester, Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, was shot at close range and died a short time later, reported Aswat Masriya, a local news site that quoted a statement from the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, which organized the march.
Read the rest.

Cartoon: The woman died, by Andeel, via Andy Carvin.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

“Moi aussi, je suis une dessinatrice.”


Paris. Via Kim Willsher.

Et moi aussi, je suis un dessinateur.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The number of civilians killed in Syria since 2011 is greater than the number of British civilians killed in the Second World War

Cross-posted from NFZSyria.org.


For the entire conflict, the Violations Documentation Center in Syria has recorded 78,867 civilians killed to date, greater than the recorded number of British civilians killed in the Second World War.

The VDC is unable to record all violent deaths. By comparing their numbers to the UN’s most recent minimum count, it appears the true figure of civilians violently killed in Syria since March 2011 may well be over 137,000. All violent deaths, civilian and military, are now well over 200,000.

The UN’s minimum count of 191,369 violent deaths to the end of April 2014 was greater than Iraq Body Count’s number for total violent deaths in Iraq in the ten years from 2003 to 2013: 174,000 including combatants.

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2139 in February of last year, demanding amongst other measures an end to aerial bombing of civilian areas. Enforcement of the resolution has been blocked by permanent member Russia, the principle supplier of arms and aircraft to Assad’s air force.

Individual states enjoying the privilege of UN Security Council membership now have a responsibility to act: specifically France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These three states have the proven ability to stop the Assad regime’s air attacks against civilians almost immediately. Their New Year’s resolution should now be to enforce the old year’s resolution.

Action is justified, in the words used by then Defence Minister George Robertson in the 1999 Parliamentary debate on the UK’s Kosovo intervention, “as an exceptional measure in support of purposes laid down by the UN Security Council, but without the Council's express authorisation.” Whether individually or collectively, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, must act now to stop this slaughter.

Protect civilians. Enforce UN Security Council Resolution 2139. Syria needs a No-Fly Zone.

• Photo: Firemen at work in bomb damaged street in London, after Saturday night raid, circa 1941. Source: US National Archives.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A New Year’s resolution: enforce the old year’s resolution

Cross-posted from NFZSyria.



Since March 2011, when protests began against the dictatorship in Syria, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed. Many thousands of those killed, likely tens of thousands of them, were killed by regime air attacks using planes and helicopters dropping conventional bombs, barrel bombs, and chlorine chemical weapons. Many thousands more, adults and children, have been maimed.

As many as 95% of those killed in regime air attacks have been civilians.

In February 2014, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2139 which included the demand “that all parties immediately cease all attacks against civilians, as well as the indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, including shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs, and methods of warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering…”

UNSCR 2139 closed with the Security Council expressing “its intent to take further steps in the case of non-compliance,” but since then no action has been taken by the UNSC to stop the air attacks.

In the absence of further steps by the UNSC as a whole, and with UNSC permanent member Russia both arming Syria’s air force and also blocking collective UNSC action, individual states enjoying the privilege of permanent membership of the UNSC must take responsibility: specifically France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These three states have the proven ability to stop the Assad regime’s air attacks against civilians almost immediately. Their New Year’s resolution should now be to enforce the old year’s resolution.

Action is justified, in the words used by George Robertson in the 1999 Parliamentary debate on the UK’s Kosovo intervention, “as an exceptional measure in support of purposes laid down by the UN Security Council, but without the Council's express authorisation.” Whether individually or collectively, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, must act now to stop this slaughter.

Protect civilians. Enforce UN Security Council Resolution 2139. Syria needs a No-Fly Zone.

Background notes at http://www.nfzsyria.org/p/about.html