Manifesto for awarding the next
Nobel peace prize to the Syrian
The Syrian people has risen to replace a culture of conflict, a culture of violence, corruption, religious strife and disregard of human rights, with a culture of peace.
- The Syrian uprising is not an ordinary one: it doesn’t defend social, local, or even ethnic interests but represents a surge of conscience against a regime set in its violent ways, on the inside as well as the outside of its borders;
- This is why the movement for the Syrian people first favoured non-violence – it is with bare chests that they countered the bullets and the tanks of the regime and the systematic torture that didn’t even spare their children; they have also constantly and ardently aspired to the unity of the people (wahed! wahed! wahed!) against the confessional divisions that the regime always looked to exploit;
- The Syrian people was terribly isolated in this struggle which, almost eighteen months later, has cost them tens of thousands of dead ; all governments have the duty to help them, just as civil societies must show their solidarity;
- Let us consider the unique courage of this people who has been resisting for more than one year and a half in horrific conditions, when all humanitarian assistance is banned (doctors, chemists, and nurses executed for having helped the wounded) and famine is starting to be felt;
- Let us not be insensitive to so much suffering and especially not let them think that such a sacrifice could be in vain. Furthermore, should the Syrian dictatorship prevail, the entire region would be destabilized and the Syrians themselves would have to turn to violence, as the ultimate means of protest of a people which has always showed their adherence to pacific means of struggle;
- Outraged by the barbaric acts committed on children, like Hamza al-Kahatib, and women and entire populations, killed in cold blood as in Houla, many Syrians ended up taking arms and joining the Free Syrian Army;
- However the combats led by the Free Syrian Army must not obscure the fact that, just as Ghiyath Matar – who exhorted his fellow countrymen to non-violent struggle and was tortured and killed for it – the majority of Syrians carry on opposing and falling victim to the regime without resorting to violence;
- Dark days await the Syrian people. To award them the Nobel prize for peace as an expression of admiration for their courage and determination in the pursuit of freedom would also incite them to reassert their choice of non-violence when comes the day of reconstruction;
- Awarding the Nobel Prize to a people is perhaps unprecedented, but we do award military medals to cities – it must be possible to distinguish the pacific will of a people standing up for their freedom;
It is the role of the Nobel Prize Committee. And, in this historic moment, we ask the Committee to use all its influence in the cause of the Syrian people.