Election Pledge

4 min readJan 23, 2020


Stop Bombing Hospitals Protest (source: thesyriacampaign.org)

The Irish Syria Solidarity Movement respectfully requests all candidates in the upcoming General Election to support Syrians as they continue to suffer the worst humanitarian crisis of our time.

If elected, with regard to each of the following headings relating to the ongoing crisis situation in Syria, I undertake:

On Detainees
- to call on the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Special Rapporteur for Torture, Nils Melzer, to insist on the immediate release of all civilian detainees held in Syria. Failing that, I will call for immediate access (within 30 days) to all detainees held in Syria and to provide a comprehensive report to the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly on the welfare of the surviving prisoners and conditions of detention and to highlight any impediments to inspection. Finally, I will call for all parties to account for the tens of thousands of detainees who are known to have died in captivity in Syria.

On Idlib and West Aleppo
- to demand that the Assad regime and Russian forces immediately desist from bombing civilians and civilian infrastructure (particularly schools, hospitals, bakeries, places of worship and the like) and I will support the imposition of a no-fly zone over Idlib and West Aleppo if necessary.

On Rukban
- to call on the United Nations and the World Health Organisation to ensure the urgent delivery of Humanitarian Aid and winterisation for the people in the makeshift refugee camp at Rukban and to ensure the safety and security of the people there. I recognise that the people in Rukban fled ISIS but are also terrified of the Assad regime and must be granted safe passage to territory that is not under regime control, as is their wish.

On Foreign Intervention
- to condemn all belligerent foreign intervention in Syria and to demand the withdrawal of foreign troops, including mercenaries and contracted militias.

On Internally Displaced Persons
- to call on the United Nations to immediately determine the humanitarian assistance requirements of the millions of internally displaced people in Syria and to report back to the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly without delay. Furthermore, I will advocate for the provision of appropriate levels of Irish and international humanitarian assistance to meet the needs identified by means of cross-border delivery and air-drops if necessary. I will further demand from the UN that it accounts for humanitarian assitance that has been provided via the Assad regime and its agents.

On Displaced Syrians in neighbouring countries
- to support the millions of Syrians who have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. I will advocate for the requisite Irish and EU financial investment necessary to help them. Furthermore, I will condemn any attempts at forcible repatriation from these countries and I will advocate for an increase in the numbers eligible for resettlement to Ireland from those countries.

On Displaced Syrians in Ireland and other European countries
- to oppose forcible repatriation of any Syrian from any European country. As the Syrian intelligence agencies - collectively known as the Mukhabarat- have the power to arrest, detain, conscript and torture civilians at will, there is no prospect of a safe return for millions of Syrians. Syrians living as refugees in Europe need to be offered the utmost State support to help them rebuild their lives here. Specifically, I will support the provision of urgently-required support services for victims of violence and torture and I will support appropriate family re-unification programmes.

On EU Sanctions
- as the most effective means available to the EU to compel vital political reforms in Syria, to support and strengthen the existing targetted EU sanctions that are directed specifically against the Assad regime and to investigate ways to ensure that sanctions are not applied to the detriment of ordinary Syrians. Where it can be demonstrated that foreign governments have been implicated in war crimes or crimes against humanity, I will argue for the extension of targetted sanctions to those responsible in those countries.

On Accountability
- to robustly support the UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (iiim.un.org) and to otherwise pursue justice and accountability for the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria. Furthermore, I will be advocating for the establishment of an Independent War Crimes Tribunal with the power to prosecute those found guilty.

On Uniting For Peace
- to advocate that the Irish Government promotes a Uniting For Peace Resolution at the United Nations General Assembly

On Funding for Syrian Civil Society Organisations
- to advocate for funding for Syrian Civil Society organisations operating in areas outside of Regime control and to ensure funding for essential humanitarian and first-responder and rescue organisations there.

On Universal Jurisdiction
- to advocate for the adoption of Universal Jurisdiction into Irish legislation to enable Syrian victims of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity (such as torture) to pursue justice through the Irish Courts system.

(Please register your support for this pledge at info@irishsyriasolidaritymovement.org — Thank You)