An opinion article on Swedish daily argues the injustice of sanctions on Syria

With the aim of putting pressure on the Swedish government and informing people in Sweden about the unjust sanctions against Syria, Patrik Paulov and Fadia Restom wrote an opinion article published by Aftonbladet, Swedish biggest daily. 
 
The article affirmed that the sanctions that have been imposed on Syria since 2011 have hit hard the population, which has suffered greatly from war and terror. 
 
"When we speak with Syrians after nine years of war, two things are highlighted. One is that Syria has become safer. In most of the country, terrorist groups such as IS and al-Qaeda have been defeated, and residents live in peaceful conditions. The second is that living conditions are getting worse. One explanation is the terrible war and all the destruction it brought. Another is the sanctions," the writers said. 
  
They added: "We hear Syrians say that in winter they wore outerwear indoors because there was no heating oil. We hear about rising prices for food and other necessities for life. We listen to testimonies about hospitals that suffer from a lack of medication and functioning medical equipment."
 
The writers cited that the US and the EU have banned Syria from importing oil,  medicines, equipment and spare parts, which is hitting the entire community hard. 
 
"The threats of punishing companies and banks that violate the sanctions make few dare to trade with Syria. The situation was serious even before the corona pandemic. Syria now faces a huge challenge," the writes argued. 
 
They hoped that Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde could help to improve the living conditions for millions of Syrians and save lives by stating that Sweden does not intend to extend the sanctions beyond 1 June during the meeting of EU foreign ministers held on May 15 to discuss the situation in the Middle East and Syria. 
 
”But the Swedish minister would never do that unless we put pressure on her, simply because Sweden these days is a very EU and Nato loyal country” , Mr. Paulov told Syria Times e-newspaper. 
  
The author of Syria's silenced voices (Karneval publisher 2019)  and the Syrian expert Mrs. Restom inform that any decisions within the EU about sanctions are taken unanimously. It is enough for a country to say NO to an extension, for the sanctions to be lifted.
 
They beleive that a troubled world must be tackled with more cooperation and solidarity.
 
Basma Qaddour