GENEVA / SYRIA UPDATE

Preview Language:   Original
08-Nov-2019 00:04:08
Almost daily violence targeting built-up areas and health facilities in Syria continues to threaten civilians there, UN Human Rights Office said on Friday. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / SYRIA UPDATE
TRT: 4:08
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 8 NOVEMBER 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations flag alley.
2. Med shot, journalists
3. Close up, hands typing on laptops in profile.
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Civilians continue to pay a very high price in the ongoing hostilities in Syria. Dozens have been killed and injured in the largely separate situations occurring simultaneously in northeastern and northwestern Syria, from a variety of causes, including airstrikes and ground-based strikes, and increasingly as a result of what appears to be an indiscriminate use of improvised explosive devices in populated areas, including in local markets.”
5. Med shot, journalists
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Health facilities continue to be directly hit or significantly damaged whenever there is a military escalation in Idlib. Four separate facilities were damaged on 4 and 6 November, taking the total number of health facilities we have recorded being hit since 29 April to 61.”
7. Med shot, journalist peering at laptop screen
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We can’t determine if every single attack is deliberate, but the large scale of these attacks – as I say, 61 separate facilities, considerably more actual strikes hitting those facilities, given some of them were hit two, three, four times, and the fact that it’s happening every time there’s a military escalation strongly suggests that Government-affiliated forces are conducting these strikes are at least partly if not always deliberately striking health facilities. But I think we’ll have to…and of course, that would amount to a war crime.”
9. Med shot, journalist looks at laptop screen
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Attacks with improvised explosive devices have noticeably escalated in recent days, mainly in areas under the control of Turkish-affiliated armed groups, which suggests they have most likely been carried out by groups opposing the Turkish military offensive.”
11. Close up, journalist’s face in profile
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Another issue of concern in the north-east, relates to people recently displaced during the military offensive who have subsequently been subjected to arbitrary detention, in addition to enforced disappearances, after returning to their homes. This is occurring both in areas controlled by Turkish forces and Turkish-affiliated armed groups and in areas controlled by Kurdish armed groups.”
13. Med shot, journalists
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“A particular concern of ours is that, you know, among the thousands of Syrians who continue to be detained, or who have been forcibly disappeared inside Government-run detention facilities, we’re concerned that we are receiving reports of families receiving death notifications from the Government authorities, you know, basically telling them that their relatives, or family members who were detained or forcibly disappeared have died in custody.”
15. Med shot, journalists
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Marixie Mercado, spokesperson, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“Of the $295 million we required in 2019, we have received just $138 million. Despite the massive security, access and capacity challenges, this funding shortfall now represents the most serious obstacle we face in reaching children who need help urgently.”
17. Med shot, journalist with headphone
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Marixie Mercado, spokesperson, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“Not providing emergency water, sanitation and hygiene support to over 100,000 people, nor improving poor water supplies to 300,000 more. Not providing 55,000 children with routine immunization, and nearly 140,000 women and children with health and nutrition consultations.”
19. Med shot, journalists
20. Med shot, journalists
21. Close up, journalist’s hands checking mobile

STORYLINE:

Almost daily violence targeting built-up areas and health facilities in Syria continues to threaten civilians there, UN Human Rights Office said on Friday (8 Nov).

“Civilians continue to pay a very high price in the ongoing hostilities in Syria,” said the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Rupert Colville.

Dozens of people have been killed and injured in the largely separate situations “occurring simultaneously” in north-eastern and north-western Syria, he told journalists at the United Nations, noting that “at least 92” had been killed between 9 October and 5 November.

Their deaths were from a variety of causes including airstrikes and ground based strikes, “and increasingly as a result of what appears to be an indiscriminate use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in populated areas, including in local markets”, the OHCHR spokesperson added.

Those comments follow a warning from Najat Rochdi, Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, that hundreds of thousands of people in northeast Syria are vulnerable following an incursion by the Turkish military on 9 October. She warned on Thursdya that of the more than 200,000 people who fled the fighting in recent weeks, close to 100,000 people have not yet been able to return home and are dispersed across improvised camps and collective shelters.

In a related warning, Colville said that people recently displaced during the military offensive have been “subsequently…subjected to arbitrary detention, in addition to enforced disappearances, after returning to their homes. This is occurring both in areas controlled by Turkish forces and Turkish-affiliated armed groups and in areas controlled by Kurdish armed groups.”

The OHCHR spokesperson added that attacks using improvised explosive devices in the formerly Kurdish-controlled north-east “have noticeably escalated in recent days, mainly in areas under the control of Turkish-affiliated armed groups, which suggests they have most likely been carried out by groups opposing the Turkish military offensive”.

In Syria’s northwest, meanwhile, medical professionals continue to be at grave risk.
Health facilities “continue to be directly hit or significantly damaged whenever there is a military escalation in Idlib”, Colville said.

Just this week, “four separate facilities were damaged”, he noted, taking the total number of health facilities that OHCHR has recorded being hit since 29 April to 61.

“We can’t determine if every single attack is deliberate,” Colville added, “but the large scale of these attacks – as I say, 61 separate facilities, considerably more actual strikes hitting those facilities, given some of them were hit two, three, four times, and the fact that it’s happening every time there’s a military escalation strongly suggests that Government-affiliated forces are conducting these strikes are at least partly if not always deliberately striking health facilities. But I think we’ll have to…and of course, that would amount to a war crime.”

In a new development related to thousands of Syrians held by the Government, Colville explained that it was concerning that families have been receiving death notifications from the Government authorities. “Basically, telling them that their relatives, or family members who were detained or forcibly disappeared have died in custody.”

The development comes as UN Special Envoy for Syria confirmed on Friday that talks between Syrians on a new foundational text for the country will resume in two weeks in Geneva.

Earlier, UN humanitarians warned that a serious funding crisis risks leaving hundreds of thousands of Syrians vulnerable to deteriorating weather conditions.

“Of the $295 million we required in 2019, we have received just $138 million,” said Marixie Mercado, spokesperson, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF): “Despite the massive security, access and capacity challenges, this funding shortfall now represents the most serious obstacle we face in reaching children who need help urgently.”

Listing the many urgent interventions that would no longer be possible without that funding, Mercado explained that it would mean “not providing emergency water, sanitation and hygiene support to over 100,000 people, nor improving poor water supplies to 300,000 more. Not providing 55,000 children with routine immunization, and nearly 140,000 women and children with health and nutrition consultations.”
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