Dust of Warplanes campaign that started on May 29th 2017 and ended on June 5th 2017 is an advocacy campaign that highlighted the miserable side that Deir Ezzor civilians are living. Justice for Life organization focused throughout this campaign on the aerial bombardment that is launched by the warplanes of international coalition, Russia, Syrian government, and Iraq on the governorate. This bombardment was intensified recently on the pretext of fighting “Islamic State” group, so the civilians became a victim of such sustained air strikes.
Brainstorming over this campaign started in February 2017 and preparations started in March 2017 as objective, target audience, activities, and timeline of the campaign were set.
Preparations ended in mid-May the campaign was launched on May 29th 2017. As the aerial bombardment was intensified on Deir Ezzor, dozens of civilians, who have nothing to win in this fight, were victims of air strikes.
The campaign included two short films, twenty-one quotations, and five statistics. These materials focused on the shelling of vital locations and the suffering of the civilians. The foundation stone of the campaign is a report that was published by Justice for Life organization in October 2016 as it included statistics, results, and testimony.
The campaign included five campaigns;
– Statistics of Victims of Aerial Bombardment on Deir Ezzor since January 2016 until April 30th 2017.
– Statistics of Victims of “Islamic State” group shelling on Deir Ezzor besieged neighborhoods since January 2016 until April 30th 2017.
– Statistics of Victims of Landmines from Deir Ezzor since January 2016 until April 30th 2017.
– Statistics of Aerial Bombardment on Deir Ezzor since January 2016 until April 30th 2017.
– Statistics of Victims from Deir Ezzor who died in other Syrian governorates since January 2016 until April 30th 2017.
The importance of Dust of Warplanes campaign comes as heavy bombardment increases along with influx of displacement of civilians to other areas.
The conveners communicated with many of media platforms as follows;
Audio-visual media (27) Arabic, Western, and Turkish TV channels, written and electronic media (49) newspapers and websites, broadcast media (10) radio channels. The campaign spokesman made media appearances on 12 media platforms. The adopted hashtag (Dust_of_Warplanes) had a broad public impact on social media.
More than 1000 parties were contacted including organizations, activists, public figures, western journalists, actors, artists, and politicians.
Justice for Life would like to thank organizations, individuals, and media who participated in the campaign and those who showed their sympathy with Deir Ezzor and its civilians, who are in dire need for shedding the light on their current and upcoming miserable situation.
Therefore, Justice for Life organization demands the following;
- Cessation of all indiscriminate attacks on populated areas and civilian objects.
- UN envoy Staffan de Mistura to:
A- To put pressure on the Syrian and Russian governments to halt targeting the civilians and to fully commit to International Humanitarian Law.
B- To put pressure on the US-led coalition to neutralize civilians and vital utilities in Deir Ezzor governorate, and to open investigation on the incidents where civilians were victims of those air strikes.
- Due to indiscriminate aerial bombardment, thousands of civilians had to flee to other Syrian governorates. Many reports were received by Justice for Life organization that stated that Syrian security apparatuses and People Protection Units prevent civilians to enter to their held areas. Accordingly, Justice for Life organization demands the Syrian government and Self-rule to allow the civilians to enter to their held areas.
- Halting all operations that target infrastructures, including bridges, bakeries, and vital utilities as hundreds of thousands of civilians are depending on those infrastructures. Justice for Life reminds all parties that targeting infrastructures will cause catastrophic consequences on the civilians.
- The related states shall put pressure on conflict parties to halt hostilities and targeting civilians as a prelude to negotiations.
- The necessity of respecting International Humanitarian Law, and Human Rights along with holding those who violate them accountable.
- Reducing civilians’ casualties to minimum and halt targeting civilians.
- Prohibiting and preventing the internationally prohibited weapons.
- Protecting of cultural heritage and archaeological sites in Deir Ezzor, either from indiscriminate attacks or having them as military positions.
- Taking the necessary action to referral to justice, including the International Criminal Court or special courts, and to call on the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and to take concrete actions to ensure effective accountability and a non-impunity.
- Putting pressure on active parties and key stakeholders to enter into a comprehensive peace that respects human rights of the Syrian citizen and the International Humanitarian Law.
Justice for Life Organization
June 6, 2017