The World Health Organization Should Cancel Contracts with Cham Wings Airlines and Apologize to the Syrian Regime’s Victims
January 18, 2021
Source: the Syrian Network for Human Rights
(Link below to download full report)
In a report released today, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) condemned the World Health Organization’s (WHO) use of Cham Wings Airlines, which is involved in supporting the Syrian regime’s egregious violations, noting that the WHO should cancel any contracts with Cham Wings Airlines and apologize to the Syrian regime’s victims.
The six-page report notes that the World Health Organization used Cham Wings Airlines, which is involved in supporting the Syrian regime’s violations and transporting Russian mercenaries to Syria, to transport a quantity of medical supplies related to the organization’s humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had been stored in the organization’s warehouses in Dubai, to Benghazi Airport in Libya, according to a news report published on WHO official accounts on social media on January 10, 2021.
The photo published with the news report showed that the transfer took place through the Cham Wings Company.
As the report notes, the United States of America imposed sanctions on the Cham Wings Airlines through the Office of Foreign Assets Control on December 23, 2016, given the Sham Wings Company’s contribution to financially supporting the Syrian regime and its role in transferring supplies, equipment and mercenaries from Iran and other countries supporting the Syrian regime, as well as its other help for the regime in suppressing the Syrian people and committing egregious violations that sometimes amount to crimes against humanity.
As the report reveals, Cham Wings Airlines had transported Russian mercenaries and military contractors to Damascus and Latakia from Platov International Airport, as well as transporting Syrian mercenaries to Libya, where they had been recruited by Russia to fight alongside the forces of the retired Libyan Major General Khalifa Haftar in the battles against the Libyan Government of National Accord.
The report further notes that the United Nations’ failure to impose sanctions on all companies involved in supporting the Syrian regime’s atrocious violations does not justify the World Health Organization using them, even if their prices are lower than other service providers, since any financial payment to this company constitutes support for the continuation of its work and the transportation of more militias, Iranian weapons and Russian mercenaries to commit more brutal violations in Syria. The report adds that the World Health Organization could have used any other airline, including Libyan airlines.
The report holds Ms. Elizabeth Hoff, the representative of the World Health Organization in Libya, responsible for the use of this airline which constitutes tangible support for ‘Cham Wings Airlines’ and which constitutes a gross insult to the millions of Syrian victims, whose lives have been ended or blighted by the violations of the Syrian regime
In conclusion, the report reiterates its condemnation of the World Health Organization’s use of ‘Cham Wings Airlines’, and condemns any financial or logistical support for any of the companies affiliated with or owned by the Syrian regime, since the greater part of these revenues will be used in funding the most horrific violations in order to preserve the regime’s power. As the report adds, the Syrian regime is a totalitarian dictatorship and there is hardly any independent institutional life in Syria, where most institutions exist to serve the security services and the ruling authority.
The report recommends that the World Health Organization should open an investigation into the use of ‘Cham Wings Airlines’, which is involved in supporting the egregious crimes of the Syrian regime and its allies, and should hold those responsible accountable, calling on the organization to cancel all contracts with ‘Cham Wings Airlines’, and to pledge not to return to using it.
The report also calls on the World Health Organization to issue a statement that includes an explanation for this decision and an apology for the additional psychological trauma caused to the regime’s victims who have been further affected by grief and pain.
The report calls on all United Nations bodies and organizations not to use any companies involved in supporting the Syrian regime since doing so constitutes an insult to the United Nations, and leads to it losing much of its reputation for objectivity and credibility. The report adds that all United Nations bodies should avoid such acts and should adhere to the highest standards of human rights and respect the feelings of victims of human rights abuses.