In response to reports that the Syrian regime has been starving civilians, Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement today (24 October):
Humanitarian aid workers must have access to those starving. I condemn the sealing off of residential areas by the Syrian regime. The Damascus area has been particularly hard hit, especially East and West Ghouta and the Palestinian quarter of Yarmouk. I call upon those responsible to allow help to reach those in need.
People in some suburbs of Damascus, especially in the town of Mouaddamiya, have been virtually cut off from the supply of food, medicine and electricity for more than 300 days now. I condemn every attempt to prevent or hamper humanitarian access, or to use it for war-like attacks on civilians.
I call upon those responsible in Damascus to grant immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access to wherever people are suffering hardship and to allow the safe evacuation of ill and starving civilians from the areas under siege.