MONTREAL, March 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HI is relaunching it’s "Stop Bombing Civilians" campaign against the bombing of civilian populations. Bombing and shelling in populated areas, which have become commonplace in current conflicts in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, kill and wound 92% civilians. The association calls on the general public to sign an online petition asking states to end the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.  Its goal is to obtain 1 million signatures and to officially submit the petition to the United Nations and political decision makers in September 2018.

For seven years, Syrians have been the victims of a conflict marked by intense and continuous use of explosive weapons: Massive bombing raids on Eastern Ghouta since the 18th of February, 2018 have killed more than 1,100+ people and destroyed countless civilian infrastructures, including hospitals and health centers. In parallel, bombing and shelling on central areas of Damascus has caused dozens of casualties. Over the last months, military offensives accompanied by heavy bombing raids and shelling have killed hundreds of civilians in Idlib governorate, Raqqa governorate and Afrin district.

In the countries affected by the Syrian crisis, HI teams witness the suffering and trauma of the Syrian population; victims of a conflict marked by the repeated heavy use of explosive weapons. According to a survey of the International NGO Safety Organization (INSO), 33,394 attacks involving explosive weapons took place in Syria in 2017, accounting for 70% of reported incidents. This represents an average of 91 attacks, in the form of bombing or shelling, every day.

A Canadian on the field

Based in Amman, Jordan, Shirin Kiani works as the Inclusion Coordinator for HI’s Syria response. With a background in occupational therapy and Public health, she works with field teams to ensure persons with disabilities and older persons access livelihood and recovery programming of mainstream NGOs working on the Syrian Crisis. In Canada, actor Anthony Lemke acts as HI Canada’s spokesperson for questions related to explosive weapons.

1 million signatures

With the "Stop Bombing Civilians" campaign, launched in March 2016, HI is calling states to take immediate action and develop a political declaration to reduce harm and increase the protection of civilians living through conflict, by stopping the use of explosive weapons and by providing assistance to victims including affected communities. The organization is asking general public to sign its international petition. This petition which aims to collect 1 million signatures has already exceeded 390,000 signatures.

About HI

HI is an independent international association that has been working for 35 years in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. Working alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable people, HI acts and speaks out to meet their basic needs and improve their living conditions. HI is one of the six founding associations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize and winner of the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Award.

Media contacts

HI CANADA
Gabriel Perriau
Communications &
Digital Marketing Officer
514 908-2813 # 229
g.perriau@hi.org

HI US
Mica Bevington
Media Relations
301 891 2138
m.bevington@hi.org

Michele Lunsford
Digital Marketing &
Communications Officer
301 891 2138
m.lunsford@hi.org 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e7fcb6b2-d925-4679-bba2-a0c0b27ef4af