For immediate release 1 April 2016

Humanitarian catastrophe in Fallujah

Call for urgent action to end callous food and medicine blockade of Fallujah

The European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) strongly condemns the cruel and criminal siege of Fallujah, which, together with the denial of access to medicine, has led to the starvation and death of large numbers of innocent civilians. The unfolding tragedy has included the horrific death of a young mother who attached rocks to herself and her children and jumped into the River Euphrates. The people of Fallujah are the victims of crimes committed by Daesh (ISIS) who control the city, on the one hand and the bombing of residential areas by the Iraqi army and the sectarian Shi’ia militias affiliated with the Iranian regime, on the other.

EIFA calls on the government of Dr. Haider al-Abadi, in line with his recent notable government reforms, to adopt immediate measures to bring food, medicine and basic necessities to the people of Fallujah and to resolve this humanitarian crisis. It also urges the Iraqi Prime Minister to prevent any meddling by the militias affiliated with the Iranian regime who have no objective but to slaughter Sunnis to further their scorched earth tactics. The Iraqi army should create safe corridors to enable people to escape from Fallujah. 

EIFA also calls on the UN, the US, the EU and its Member States, especially members of the international coalition, to take urgent steps to bring food and medicine to the people of Fallujah, including through air-drops. EIFA similarly calls on Iraq’s religious leaders, particularly the Shi’ite leaders, not to keep silent in face of this criminal siege and to employ their extensive resources to save the people of Fallujah.

Imposing a siege on the people of this city not only fails to help in the fight against Daesh, but by escalating the criminal acts by the militias affiliated with the Iranian Qods Force, politically and socially pours fuel on the flames of conflict and prolongs the existence of Daesh.

Struan Stevenson

President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)

(Struan Stevenson was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2014 and was President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009 to 2014.)