Qatar Red Crescent mourns the casualty of its volunteer in Syria

 30 Apr 2017 - 14:10

Qatar Red Crescent mourns the casualty of its volunteer in Syria


Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) was informed  on Wednesday of the decease of one of its volunteers, 32 year old Mus'ab Ahmad A'rabi, who worked as a  cameraman accompanying field relief teams working inside Syria.

A'rabi passed away following an air bombardment against the QRCS team while carrying out its humanitarian mission in Al Janudeiah village/ Idlib's rural area. 

Hence, with the approach of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Day, we assert the need for the respect of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) rules, which protect a wide range of people and objects during armed conflicts. And while categories protected under IHL are specifically referred to as the sick, wounded, shipwrecked, prisoners of war, and civilians not directly involved in hostilities, they also include other categories such as medical personnel and humanitarian aid workers.

In this context, Article III common to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, binding to all parties of the non-international armed conflict in Syria, stipulates that the sick and wounded shall be collected and cared for.  Customary IHL also provides special protection to hospitals, medical units and healthcare workers. 

In his first comment on the incident, Dr. Mohammad bin Ghanem Al Ali Al Ma'adeed, Chairman of the Board, stated that "with deep sorrow we received the news of the decease of our son Mus'ab A'rabi (32 years), who was part of the QRCS team working inside Syria… I cannot find the words to express how I feel right now… all that crosses my mind now is the question: when will targeting humanitarian aid workers stop? And when will IHL rules in war be respected, wherever that war may be."


On his part Mr. Ali bin Hassan AL Hammadi, QRCS Secretary General, stated that the Society regrets and deplores the painful incident that resulted in the decease of one of our personnel, colleague Mus'ab A'rabi, who was accompanying a QRCS team during a field visit to a humanitarian project supervised by the Society, killing him and severally injuring another staff member.

He pointed out that this was the third incident encountered by the QRCS leading to the decease of one its members while on duty, referring to surgeon Dr.  Saleh El Hassan – 35 years – who was killed on Saturday 23 August 2014 while performing his humanitarian mission in Tabaqa hospital in Syria, and to Dr. Leith Abu Waleed – 23 years of age – who died on Sunday 8 December 2013.

Mr. Al Hammadi added that in this context, the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent always asserts and calls for the respect of humanitarian aid workers, referring to the ICRC's issuance of several clear statements urging all parties to the conflict in Syria to adhere to their obligations under IHL and to respect the RCRC humanitarian aid teams, by ensuring their safe and unrestricted access to those affected by the conflict.