Slugger for Syria

“An artillery shell had just landed and the hospital entrance was a grotesque tableau of blood, bodies and tears.

A small team of doctors set to work against a soundtrack of bombs and bullets.”

So began Ian Pannell’s BBC report from Syria last week.

His words and pictures were moving, distressing, enraging:

“Two-year-old Ahmed screamed in terror and agony as a surgeon sewed his scalp back into place.

His head had been torn open when a rocket landed on his house and pools of blood gathered in his mouth where his lip had been smashed.

Lying next to him was a badly injured teenager who was fighting for his life, his hands caked in dried blood.

Every few minutes more casualties were rushed in; a grim procession of patients, victims of a remorseless campaign of air strikes and artillery.”

You can watch and read the whole report here. You should, although I warn you, you will be moved, distressed, enraged.

What to do?

I’ll try to give some human rights answers to that question in another post.

Meanwhile, a few of us are reprising the BIG Politics Pub Quiz to raise some funds for the Red Cross / Red Crescent Syria crisis appeal.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent and International Committee of the Red Cross are among the only major agencies able to work across frontlines in Syria and are providing medical care and supplies, water, food, blankets, sleeping mats, candles, baby milk and hygiene items, and evacuating wounded people to hospitals.

The last two years’ Politics Quiz events have been great craic (see Alan’s round-up from 2011) and have raised valuable funds for charity.

This year’s event will be held in the Black Box in Belfast city centre on the evening of Tuesday 20 November. We’re delighted that:

– Mick Fealty is throwing the virtual weight of Slugger behind the event, with some bloggers, past and present, setting the questions; that

– public affairs company Stratagem is throwing in a bumper crop of politics-themed DVDs and books for the prize-winners; and that

– politicians from all our main local parties (we think!) will be throwing themselves in the line of verbal fire by volunteering for quiz-master duties!

You can get buy tickets here. You can donate extra prizes for the night be contacting me via here. And you can donate directly to the Red Cross Syria crisis appeal here.

I am the Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International UK and an occasional human rights blogger at Amnesty Blogs: Belfast & Beyond.

I’m on Twitter at @PatrickCorrigan