Syria: prisoners of war

Press Meeting

Christian communities hostage to the conflict

Syria is squeezed between two claws. Between the government army and the armed forces of the rebels. In the midst of civilians, kidnapped and killed. Gutted houses, looted, destroyed neighborhoods. Two millions refugees. In the coming months they will become two and half million. They found refuge in camps built with fabrics and plastic. Everything is documented in the report of the journalist Gian Micalessin ‘Syria, prisoners of war’. Over a thousand people pack well before the 19 – the time of screening – D3 Room. Roberto Fontolan introduces the meeting, the first of the international exhibition which will continue in the coming days: “It is an exceedingly rich topical reportage of this Christian realities in Syria.” “Jars of clay between iron pots,” as he calls Micalessin.
With the lights out the night bombing on Aleppo are perceived more realistically. It is just the next day morning, the camera films a city in ruins. A resident warns: “There’s a sniper, another there, over the bridge, around the corner.” Inside a ravaged building collapsed walls, rifles, machine guns, unexploded shells remain there. Outside, the bodies of men. Neither the hospital in Aleppo is saved. The rebels fired inside the rooms, a doctor shows holes in the wall, the occupants of the beds injured. In the courtyard a funeral turns after another. We see the one of an army fighter. The fellow soldiers deployed for the last farewell, the family crying. Other coffins are waiting on the ground floor of the hospital. A member of the opposition National Democratic Group of the Assad regime continues to believe in dialogue. He lost a son who was fighting with the rebels: “It was primary. As a doctor cured the militants. He’s dead. We need a political solution. I believe in dialogue. “This man is still there, to oppose the force of arms. There is also the declaration of a foreign rebel: “I used to think that fight in Syria was the duty of every good Muslim.” And a witness says: “They come from outside, for money.”
The schools have become centers of refuge for families escaping from the rebels. A man said: “They asked: ‘What do you think of the president?’. I replied: ‘It is my president’. They jumped on us with punches, kicks. We ran away. ”
The voiceover explains that the churches are the place where Christians huddle together around their Bishop, as happens in Aleppo with Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo. Everyday abductions in Christian communities. “To kill and kidnap, this is their freedom,” decreed a witness. Taking the highway one can exit from the capital and arrive in Tal Khalak, a village thirty kilometers from Damascus. A nun of the convent tells of armed fighters who went from Christian families and have warned: “either with us or you leave”. He concludes: “But for us the most important thing is not the risk of life. It is the gift of oneself. Here in the convent we host Christians and Muslims. “A resident, Carla Bitan, describes: “The musallahins shot everyone. Without the army, we’d all be dead. “The thirty thousand inhabitants of Al Qusayr, however, have seen peace through mediation between the rebels and the government. In late June it signed a reconciliation agreement and the weapons were laid.
At the end Giampaolo Silvestri of AVSI (foundation of volunteers around the world), who also works in a refugee camp in Lebanon, intervenes: “The situation is landlocked. The refugees increase, the number will grow even more. We’re getting ready to face the winter. We invite you to join the campaign # 10forSyria, ten euro for Syria. Come stand in the AVSI, help us. ”