Hunger or Bowing
Enab Baladi Issue # 88 – Sun, Oct. 27, 2013
Malak Jum’a, a five years old girl, is another victim of malnutrition in the region of al-Hajar al-Aswad, besieged southern Damascus bringing the number of undernourishment victims to become twenty one.
Doctor Amer, director of the field hospital, stressed that in the last week the death victims of malnutrition exceeded the three children. These victims spent days with empty bowels after intestinal illness, blood deficiency, and bones calcification due to a sever lack of food with a real shortage in medical materials, first aid, and medical supplies.
Activists documented 18 death cases due to hunger, including 11 children. These children are: Malak Jum’a, Mohammed Abdulrahman Mohammed, Aisha Mohammed Ibrahim, Aisha Radwan al-Mohammad. Other families refused to disclose their children’s name for a fear of arrest, moreover, these families are remain hopeful that the regime will end the siege and allow them to get food.
With the announcement of the regime about a crackdown on the south of Damascus, entitled «hunger or bowing», checkpoints of al-Sbaineeh and Yarmouk were shut down. These checkpoints are the only entrances for the region that includes Palastine refugee camp, al-Hajar al-Aswad, al-Sbaineeh, al-Zaybia, al-Bowaida, El Sayeda Zeinab shrine, Babila, Hajira, Yalda and al-Qadam. By this attack, 500 thousand civilians will be sieged in their areas. The majority of these people are from the Golan Heights.
This siege was organized 10 months ago on the perimeter of this closed area since it is surrounded by urban buildings and the international roads that are under the regime’s control. Regime’s checkpoints do not allow people, except elderly and women, to go in or out to bring the least basic needs for living. These checkpoints have arrested dozens of families for unknown reasons. Moreover, checkpoints’ soldiers prevented local people to get more than five loaves of bread which is the minimum amount for a living person, consequently, lentils remains the only food available to people who are now using it after kneading bread. In addition to that, these areas are suffering from a medical insufficiency because of the absence of specialist medical staff, and shortage of first aid kits. Accordingly, death rates are increasing among non- fatal injuries or illnesses due to a deficiency of a proper health care in such areas.
Translated by: Ruba Al Jarf