2014-01-22 SWITZERLAND

They are our brothers, we cannot leave them alone

In view of the Peace Conference for Syria to be held Today, 22 January, in Montreux, Switzerland, FOCSIV – Federazione Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario [FMSI is an observer member] continues to make its voice heard in defence of the human rights of the Syrian people.

“As Christians, we feel duty-bound to confirm that all Syrians, whatever their religion, are our brothers” – says the President of FOCSIV Gianfranco Cattai. “For this reason, we denounce the tragedy of the Syrian people and remind all of the importance of not leaving them alone, also with initiatives of solidarity for the defence of the human rights of Syrian men and women throughout the world. It is our duty not to be indifferent to so much suffering and cruelty which has for too long has been striking a whole population. The world cannot accept the impending loss of a whole generation of Syrians with indifference”. 

Committed to the defence and promotion of human rights and an authentic culture of peace against every form of violence, the Federation has been present for several years with some partners in the Middle East, in particular in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Kurdistan; and directly in Syria through the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Auxiliatrice, to whom the Association Vides belongs and through the Marist Brothers of FMSI

As Br Mario Meuti explains “As FMSI we are currently in Aleppo through a group of some 50 volunteers, Catholic and Moslem, co-ordinated by three Syrian Marist Brothers whom we support with the funds received from various donors. They themselves tell us that two and a half years after the beginning of the conflict, nothing has changed in the internal politics of Syria: two factions continue to fight without winner or loser, an economy in ruins, sectarianism and extremism flourishing, and no sign of a solution to the conflict. On the contrary, the humanitarian situation is catastrophic”.

“Placing great hope in the coming trip of Pope Francis to the Holy Land, our thoughts go out at this time to all the Syrian victims, the two bishops, the Sisters and religious kidnapped whom we hope to see reappear soon from the silence that engulfs them. We turn finally to the delegates and the countries which will take part in the Peace conference of 22 January to ask them to act conscientiously for the opening up of a humanitarian corridor into the zones under siege, for the release of political prisoners and the creation and support of a transition government which does not include war criminals,” says Cattai. 

 FOCSIV press release, Rome, 10 January 2014


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