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Aleppo nurse’s harrowing suicide note goes viral: “I will be raped in just moments”

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Six years into Syria’s bloody civil war, Aleppo – the second-largest city in the country – is in peril. Following the collapse of the opposition-held areas of the city, hundreds of thousands of starving civilians have found themselves trapped amid what a UN spokesman described as a “complete meltdown of humanity.”

With the city under heavy bombardment by President Bashar al-Assad (whom has the full backing of Russian and Iranian forces), people have begun to share “goodbye” messages on social media as they “wait for death” in the ever-shrinking rebel-held enclave.

Eyewitness accounts indicate many civilians have been killed in the onslaught and disturbing reports have emerged of soldiers raping and assaulting women at random. 

Earlier today, Abdullah Othman, head of the Consultive Council in the Levant Front, one of Aleppo’s largest rebel groups, told the world’s press: “This morning 20 women committed suicide in order not to be raped.”


Read more: Lucy Mangan on the human cost of the Syrian crisis


Now a letter, allegedly written by a terrified nurse living in Aleppo, has been shared on social media by aid worker Abdullateef Khaled.

In the distressing note, the unnamed woman reveals that she plans to take her own life as an alternative to the pain and suffering she would endure being sexually assaulted by militants.

Her letter reads:

“I am one of the woman in Aleppo who will soon be raped in just moments..there are no more weapons or men that can stand between us and the animals who are about to come called the 'country's army'.

“I don't want anything from you… I don't even want your supplication…as I am still able to speak I think my supplication is going to be more truthful than what you say!

“I am committing suicide… and I don't care if you say I am in Hell-Fire!

“I am committing suicide because I did not remain firm in my deceased father's home for all these years because his heart burned when he saw all those who left Aleppo.

“I am committing suicide not due to no reason but because I do not want several members of the Assad Regime to savour raping me while just yesterday they were afraid to say the word 'Aleppo'.

“I am committing suicide because the Day of Resurrection has taken place in Aleppo and I don't think Hell-Fire will be worse than this..

“I am committing suicide and I know all of you will unite on my entering of Hell-Fire and that will be the only thing that you will unite upon: the suicide of a woman. Not your mother or sister or wife…but a woman you are not concerned about.

“I will conclude by saying that your fatwa (verdicts) have become meaningless to me so save it for yourself and your family.

“I am committing suicide.”


Read more: Journalist Marie Colvin killed in Syria


Meanwhile Lina al-Shamy, a 26-year-old woman speaking in fluent English, posted a video of herself (below) to Twitter.

In it, she pleads for people around the world to speak out on behalf of all those who are trapped in Aleppo.

“To everyone who can hear me,” she says. “We are here exposed to a genocide in the besieged city of Aleppo. This may be my last video. More than 50,000 civilians who rebelled against the dictator, al-Assad, are threatened with field executions or dying under bombing.

“According to activists, more than 180 people have been field executed in the areas the regime has recently retook control of by Assad’s gangs and the militias that support them. The civilians are stuck in a very small area that doesn’t exceed two square kilometres. With no safe zones, no life, every bomb is a new massacre.”

She finishes by pleading: “Save Aleppo, save humanity.”


Read more: Couple cancel wedding to spend money helping Syrian refugees


It was reported earlier today (15 December) that, after a ceasefire collapsed on Wednesday, a new truce has come into effect between Syrian rebels and government forces.

Buses are now poised to begin evacuations of around 5,000 people – with Ismail al-Abdullah, a volunteer for the White Helmets civil defence group, telling the BBC that the process is due to begin very shortly.

Meanwhile the UN’s Jan Egeland, speaking to reporters from The Guardian, has said that there will be three parts to the evacuation, which the UN was monitoring but had not mediated.

“It is a three pronged evacuation,” explained Egeland. “It is medical evacuation of wounded and sick. It’s an evacuation of vulnerable civilians and it is evacuation of fighters. This is not an agreement mediated by the United Nations.

“It is an agreement that has been made in direct talks between the parties to this war. We were not part of it and we were only invited this morning to monitor.”


Read more: “I was kidnapped as an ISIS sex slave”


With some 30,000 people besieged in the city, Zouhir Al Shimale, an independent journalist in east Aleppo, told Al Jazeera: “Civilians are given the choice to stay or leave - if they stay, they'll be under regime control. Most of the people want to go because they are afraid of potential massacres by the regime..

“In recent days, people are desperate to get to somewhere where we have the supplies - food, medicine, fuel - like we used to have in the days before the siege. Even if they are in refugee camps, but people still want to leave the besieged area.”

A statement from the Russian Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria, part of Russia’s ministry of defence, said that Syrian authorities have guaranteed the safety of all civilians and members of the armed groups who have decided to leave Aleppo.

This sentiment was echoed by Egeland, who told Reuters: “Today Russia detailed how the evacuation would take place in the taskforce and they confirmed that Russians would be monitoring and that this is a swift, unbureaucratric, non-intrusive evacuation and no harm will meet these who are evacuated.”

Aid trucks and ambulances have also been sent to help the people of the besieged Shia villages of Fua and Kefraya, as part of the ceasefire deal.

The evacuation was initially delayed amid reports that Syrian government fighters opened fire on a convoy as it prepared to leave rebel-held areas. 

At least three people were wounded, according to the rescue service.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence the Rape Crisis Centre operates a national 24-hour helpline. Contact them on 1800 77 8888.

To donate to UNICEF’s Syrian Appeal, visit their website here.

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