Special Report: World Day for Nonviolence and Projections on the Syrian Reality
On the 2nd of October, the world celebrates the International Day of Non-Violence, the General Assembly of the United Nations in Accordance with Resolution 61/271 of 15 June 2007, adopted the resolution of Non-violence through sensitization undertaken by the international organizations via means of social media, More than 140 states had submitted a draft resolution for Non-violence, the International Day of Nonviolence was chosen on the birthday of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi as a tribute to him, in recognition of his efforts to spread the creed of non-violence throughout the modern world, Gandhi was the leader of this approach and one of the most prominent leaders of the culture of nonviolence throughout human history, One of the most prominent statements made by him in this regard: “I am ready to die for many issues, but I am not willing to kill, for any of the Issues”.
If we go back to the definition of Non-violence, we will see: “It is the Rejection of the use of physical violence to achieve any social or political change “, So People who reject negativity and subservience, believe that the suffer is essential to achieve their goals and engage in their struggle without violence.
The concept of “nonviolence” encompasses various aspects of life (political, economic, social and other life aspects) to change society and develop its programs of work.
The culture of “violence” Emerges during times of crisis, which overwhelm the individual, the family and society as a whole.
In the case of Syrian society, since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, a new culture has been established within the structures of society. These events have shaken the Syrian society and established a new culture within it as a result of the conditions afflicting the people of Syria.
At the Family level: “The Syrian family has been under considerable pressure at the Social and Economic levels, affecting the family in general, but the consequences of these pressures have affected the children and women in particular, because they are the weaker party due to the culture of the patriarchal society, beside the obsolete customs and traditions Which deprived women of most of their rights, according to Fraternity Foundation( Taakhi) for Human Rights, the Syrian women and children have been subjected to various types of violence and terrorism in different areas of the Syrian conflict, these types of violence are divided to :
1-the physical violence: and it is one of the most common forms of violence against women and children due to the Deterioration of financial situation of families, so the father or the brother resort to the battering of women and children, and forcing them to work to earn money, which deprive children of completing education and make them more vulnerable to Harassment and Human trafficking.
Statistics show that child labor in Syria has increased to more than 40% since the beginning of the revolution.
2-sexual violence and rape: which can be committed by the relatives or weak-minded individuals, and it is always accompanied by the discreetly of the family as a result of customs, traditions and fear of scandal, There are many cases of people who raped or sexually abused their relatives in order to provide them with assistance and money, and this may lead the girl to commit suicide or make her resort to prostitution, This often occurs in the workplace, where rape and sexual exploitation of girls increase.
3- verbal violence: it is the use of abusive language towards family members, it has a great psychological impact on people and usually occurs in prisons and workplaces.
4-Social violence: The deprivation of women of their social and political rights, intellectual and emotionally subordination to the husband, and not allowing her to Engage in the community to perform her effective role, which reflect negatively on women, especially who are the family’s breadwinner, and that creates an unbalanced society.
5-The Economic violence: consists in depriving women from the disposal of money, the inheritance deprivation of women, and the Exploitation of her economic resources, especially the working women and rural women.
The Syrian Regime practice various forms of torture and repression in prisons, The number of detainees in the Syrian Regime prisons is estimated at 250,000 according to the Syrian Observatory, 2630 of them including 85 women and 270 children were killed under torture, those detainees are being subjected to different methods of violence and torture within the cellars of prisons, without distinguishing between men, women and children, and without taking into account the international law, Which prevent violence and torture in prisons, “Al-Qaiser” (And he is a dissident member from the Syrian Regime military police) has published Horrific photos showing the signs of torture on the bodies of detainees in the Syrian regime prisons , the world’s conscience was shaken by those terrifying images of torture, in addition to the testimonies of survivors of prisons to the international organizations, Everything that has been mentioned can be considered as sufficient evidence to condemn the conduct of the Syrian Regime, There are many authenticated accounts of Syrian women who have been subjected to various forms of torture and rape, in plenty cases the girl was subjected to rape by more than one person until she lost consciousness, some girls attempted to commit suicide after they having been raped to dispose of their suffering represented by rape and torture, the other parties to the conflict practiced torture in prisons but less than the “Regime”, the detention centers of “the Islamic state group, the Kurdish units, Jabhat Al-Nusra and the opposition forces” have experienced Systematic torture of detainees, in addition to many cases of death under torture.
Reports indicate that the Syrian people of all ages have been subjected to violence because they are desperately need to work as a result of the Economic crisis created by the ongoing war, the employers are forcing them to work for long hours with low wages under severe conditions due to the lack of employment opportunities, the domination of the exploiters on the Economic facilities and the absence of the deterrent laws which eliminate injustice.
Different types of violence have been practiced by various parties to the conflict against people in the areas controlled by them, In the Syrian Regime-Held areas, the checkpoints are everywhere to instill terror and fear in local populations , beside the extortion of civilians and arbitrary arrest them in order to bargain with their families to release them later, the Detention is being implemented according to sect because most of those checkpoints are from a Certain denomination.
As to the Kurdish Units-Held areas, there is a distinction between people coming from other areas (the Arabs) and the local people (the Kurds), Where the Arabs are being interrogated at the checkpoints and often prevented from entering areas under the control of the Kurdish units, they are detained in Camps, those camps are more like prisons, if anybody wants to exercise one of the most basic of his civil rights,(like the right to travel or the right to rent or purchase a property), that require him to bring a guarantor from the local residents(the Kurds).
And as for the Islamic state group, it imposes its own pattern of life through the practice of terrorism and violence, like the imposition of a specific clothes, preventing men from shaving their beards, and not allowing woman to go out without wearing a veil, accompanied by a man of her family, the Islamic state punish with whipping and imprisonment anyone who violates these laws.
The person who was subjected to violence is not the only affected, but the whole society is, the increased frequency of violent makes the society insecure, spread terror and fear among people, and reduces the capacity of community members to play their part in building a cohesive and healthy society, as well as the psychological implications of violence which consider the most dangerous and the worst, because they contribute to destroy the members of society, and have a long-lasting impact, and will cause psychological and mental illnesses if they left unaddressed.
Therefore we call for the following:
– The media, educational institutions and relevant organizations to promote the culture of tolerance, peace and equality.
– The Security Council and the international organizations concerned with “nonviolence” to put pressure on the “Regime” and the rest of the factions that control the Syrian territories, which practice systematic violence against the Syrian people, and take deterrent decisions against those factions.
– The need for institutions, governmental and private organizations to reduce the psychological and social effects through the preparation of programs (crisis intervention),
Providing social counseling services and psychological treatment through the establishment of community centers to serve families and children.
– Enact strict laws to deter those who practice violence in any way.