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Recently, our APF delegation visited Syria’s last surviving children’s hospital in the capital, Damascus. The pictures taken there speak for themselves. I’ve never seen so much suffering and helpless looks from children and parents, and I am obliged to publicly denounce these unacceptable conditions. I will also strongly oppose other Members of Parliament if they continue to tighten sanctions against Syria instead of lifting them or at least easing them. What kind of people are those, who already helped to kill over 300,000 children by sanctions against Iraq and now cause this infanticide through sanctions in Syria?
The self-sacrificing doctors and sisters do what they can, but without the necessary medical equipment and medicines, f.i. for the chronically ill, their hands are tied. Almost every day, they have to explain to parents why they could not help their child. The parents come with their children from all over Syria, many even hundreds of miles on foot, queuing every day in the hope of receiving medical assistance for their children. They often have no money to spend the night in the capital, so they bring carpets and blankets to spend the night on the floor, in the corridors or basements between broken medical devices.
Everyone hopes that our delegation will wake people up after the return home, and will tell the wealthy public in our own countries how cruel the sanctions against Syria are for the weakest, the wounded, the sick, the children and the elderly. The chief physician described to us what he had to do, for example, to get suitable medicines for children. He needs to prepare medical reports, to submit applications to the United Nations, and to justify why the medication is needed. Then the UN gets further comments from the US and the EU. When the drug at last arrives, usually the small patients have already died. And out of 100 requests, usually only two or three are approved.
In this children’s hospital, where death is everywhere, I saw only small helpless victims and since then I feel a real hatred towards the killers-by-sanctions in the allegedly so humane West. My demand is clear, and points to the perpetrators in the US, Europe and Israel, who know no mercy: lift these inhumane sanctions against Syria!
Udo Voigt, MEP
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