February 28, 2012
Amnesty Internation recently urged the Syrian government to allow immediate and unhindered access of humanitarian aid agencies to Homs and other affected areas. The Bab ‘Amr district of the city has come under intensive shelling for more than three weeks. Hundreds of people have been killed and many more wounded.
Residents of Bab ‘Amr have told Amnesty that the shelling and exchanges of fire have destroyed the electricity and water networks, and there is little prospect of them being restored. Because of the lack of electricity, residents are unable to refrigerate food, adding to already severe shortages of food, including babies’ milk. The area is also facing a critical shortage of medical supplies and medical personnel. Some residents said that there was now only one doctor providing medical treatment in the makeshift clinic in Bab ‘Amr.
“The accounts we are hearing from Homs are increasingly dire, with people lacking the most basic amenities,” said Ann Harrison, interim Deputy Director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. “The Syrian authorities must immediately cease this relentless bombardment and allow full, immediate and unhindered humanitarian access to affected areas.”
Refugees in Jordan have also told Amnesty International researchers who visited the country last week that they generally receive only very limited treatment from Jordanian state medical facilities or from international medical organizations, despite often having serious injuries from bullets, shrapnel or torture. “We look to all of Syria’s neighbours to provide an adequate standard of accommodation and medical care to the people who have been driven from their homes by the relentless violence,” said Ann Harrison.