GENEVA (29 December 2020) – United Nation Human Rights expert Alena Douhan today called on the United States to remove unilateral sanctions which may inhibit rebuilding of Syria ‘s civilian infrastructure destroyed by the conflict.
“The sanctions violate the human rights of the Syrian people, whose country has been destroyed by almost 10 years of ongoing conflict,” said Douhan, UN special rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.
“The conflict and violence have already had a dire impact on the ability of the Syrian people to realise their fundamental rights, having extensively damaged houses, medical units, schools, and other facilities,” she said.
The broad sweep of the U.S. sanctions law that went into effect in June could target any foreigner helping in reconstruction of the devastated country, and even employees of foreign companies and humanitarian operators helping rebuild Syria.
The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, also known as the Caesar Act, contains the most wide-ranging U.S. sanctions ever applied against Syria.
“I am concerned that sanctions imposed under the Caesar Act may exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in Syria, especially in the course of COVID-19 pandemic, and put the Syrian people at even greater risk of human rights violations,” Douhan said.