MPs have faced condemnation after only a handful of them turned up for an emergency debate on Syria. Amnesty International called the turnout “shameful”.
MP Andrew Mitchell called the emergency debate to address how to protect civilians trapped in Aleppo. And while senior MPs attended, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the chamber was noticeably empty. In particular, observers noted the difference in attendance when parliament met to debate bombing Syria:
— Stefan Simanowitz (@StefSimanowitz) December 13, 2016
Amnesty International UK was scathing in its condemnation. Its Syria Campaign Manager, Kristyan Benedict, stated:
While Aleppo was rapidly being transformed into one mass grave today, it was shameful to see so many empty spaces during the Syria debate in the Commons.
Benedict then continued, commenting on the message this is giving to Syrian civilians:
Anyone in Syria who sees images of those empty green leather benches will be entitled to think that large numbers of British MPs have essentially given up on trying to help them.
Amid devastating accounts from Aleppo, a UN spokesperson spoke of a “complete meltdown of humanity”. And with tens of thousands of people reportedly trapped by the fighting, it is indeed a desperate, horrific, and complex situation. You might hope that your MP would think it worthwhile to attend this debate. But apparently not.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry spoke of “desperately dark and terrifying times for the people of Aleppo”, and the passion of those there was evident. But it seemed parliament felt it could do little to alleviate the crisis.
So maybe this is the sad realisation that we need to come to. Parliament is great at voting to bomb places. Just not so good at sorting out the resulting catastrophes.
– Every bomb comes from somewhere. Support Campaign Against Arms Trade and help shut down the arms trade.
Featured image via screengrab
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?