GENEVA / ALEPPO EXECUTIONS

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13-Dec-2016 00:03:17
Reports have emerged from Syria’s Aleppo city that dozens of civilians - including women and children - have been executed in their homes by pro-government forces as they close in on the last remaining neighbourhoods still held by opposition groups. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / ALEPPO EXECUTIONS
TRT: 3:17
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 13 DECEMBER 2016, GENEVA

SHOTLIST:

1. Aerial shot, exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, press conference room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations (OHCHR):
“Civilians have paid a brutal price during this conflict and we are filled with the deepest foreboding for those who remain in this last hellish corner of opposition-held eastern Aleppo. While some reportedly managed to flee yesterday, some were reportedly caught and killed on the spot and others arrested. There are believed to still be thousands of civilians in the neighbourhoods which until recently were under opposition control , including activists and civil defence members who are at risk of grave violations including detention, torture and killing. We’ve been receiving that many civilians have been detained by pro-government forces. We’ve also been informed that pro-government forces have been entering civilian homes and killing those individuals found inside, including women and children.”
4. Med shot, journalist
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Spokesperson, United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA):
“Perhaps just a few additional points to what in these hours appears to be a complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo. We also of course reiterate our extreme concern for the safety and security of those still trapped in the remaining neighbourhoods controlled by the opposition in eastern Aleppo, and the field reports that we have heard also right now and from the Secretary-General of extreme human rights violations are extremely worrying. In the past days, as the government and their allies have advanced into eastern Aleppo, civilians have had to flee along extremely dangerous routes, across combat lines, and they could take almost no belongings with them.”
6. Close up, journalist.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Spokesperson, United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs,United Nations (OCHA):
“We do not have a reliable number of how many civilians are left in those contested neighbourhoods, we simply don’t. We do know, we do have information that there are still thousands of civilians there, who may be hiding, in basements, wherever they think they can find shelter, and given what we have heard about the reports of alleged extreme human rights violations against civilians, of course our concern is for their safety and security.”
8. Med shot, journalists
9: SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations (OHCHR):
“In terms of actually being shot, the reports we’ve had are of them both being shot in the street while trying to flee and shot in their homes. Obviously people have been killed by incredibly intense bombardment as well, so we’ve also had reports of you know, bodies lying in the streets and people unable to pick up those bodies, retrieve them, because of the intensity of the bombardment and the fear of themselves being shot.”
10. Close up, hands typing on laptop keyboard
11. Wide shot, journalists

STORYLINE:

Reports have emerged from Syria’s Aleppo city that dozens of civilians - including women and children - have been executed in their homes by pro-government forces as they close in on the last remaining neighbourhoods still held by opposition groups.

Rupert Colville, spokesperson of the United Nation's (UN) human rights office, said today (13 Dec) that civilians have paid a “brutal price” as the Syrian military and its allies continue to take back the city.

He added “while some reportedly managed to flee yesterday, others were reportedly killed on the spot and others arrested. There are believed to still be thousands of civilians in the neighbourhoods which until recently were under opposition control , including activists and civil defence members who are at risk of grave violations including detention, torture and killing.”

Colville said that on Monday evening there had been reports that “numerous bodies” were lying in the streets, with at least 82 civilians killed by pro-government forces in the neighbourhoods of Bustan al-Qasr, al-Ferdous, al-Kallaseh, and al-Saleheen.

He also noted that residents were unable to retrieve the dead owing to the intense bombardment, and for fear of being shot on sight.

While numbers are difficult to verify, it’s believed that thousands of civilians are still sheltering in formerly opposition-held areas of the city.

Among them are activists and members of the civil defence force who the UN Human Rights Office says are at risk of grave violations, including detention, torture and killing.

In a bid to avoid this, and the “the suspicion that massive crimes may be under way in Aleppo”, the UN Human Rights Office has called on the country’s government to allow monitors in to oversee the Syrian army and its allies.

To date, it’s estimated that tens of thousands of people have fled the fighting in Aleppo, and 37,000 people have registered to receive aid, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke spoke of a “complete meltdown of humanity” in eastern Aleppo; he highlighted how civilians have been forced to flee the fighting across combat lines.

He said “we do still have information that there are thousands of civilians still there, who may be hiding, in basements, wherever they think they can find shelter, and given what we have heard about the reports of alleged extreme human rights violations against civilians, of course our concern is for their safety and security.”

Describing Aleppo as “an entity that changes by the hour”, Laerke said that the UN was working to get aid access across Aleppo. But he warned that it was not a situation where humanitarian concerns had “the upper hand”.
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