29 Oct 2016

Protests against Syrian bombing held in NZ

5:31 pm on 29 October 2016

Protests against Russia's intensive bombing of civilians in Aleppo and across Syria have been held iN Auckland and Wellington today.

Protesters in Auckland called for bombings of civilians in Syria to stop.

Protesters in Auckland called for bombings of civilians in Syria to stop. Photo: RNZ / Sally Murphy

The Syria Solidarity Action group held the protests in Aotea Square in Auckland and in Wellington, pleading for the bombings to stop.

Group organiser Ali Akil said the protest was about raising awareness of what is happening in Syria and the relationship between Russia and the Assad regime.

"Russia is working alongside the regime, they want to make demographic changes in Syria by forcing people to flee.

"They have been dropping leaflets over Aleppo basically giving people two choices, either get out or die - which is not acceptable, it's against their human rights," Mr Akil said.

He said the group would deliver a letter to the Russian ambassador in Wellington, outlining what they wanted done.

"We are asking Russia to stop this and stop supporting the Assad regime - the letter which will be given to the ambassador is asking for them to stop this direct support of Assad."

Mr Akil said New Zealanders had a lot of empathy and support for Syrians but many failed to understand what was happening.

"The government is doing some great work but they could do more, on the international front it is hard when they are involved with countries such as Russia and the United States.

"But closer to home they should be allowing Kiwi Syrians to pay for their own relatives to come here."

Mr Akil said if people want to sponsor a Syrian family to come to New Zealand they should be allowed to do so outside of the refugee quota.

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