Press release: Syrians use clothes pegs to ridicule international response to deadly gas attacks

Brussels, 5th April 2017 — Syrian activists have accused EU leaders and US President Donald Trump of ‘holding their noses’ and failing to stop war crimes, after the deadly gas attack in Idlib yesterday.

The group is handing out hundreds of clothes pegs outside a major conference in Brussels this morning, and have launched a provocative new video at which urges world leaders to ‘wake up and smell the war crimes’.

Photos and video from today’s action are available here.

Mohammed Abdullah, a spokesperson for The Syria Campaign was living in Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, during the Sarin gas attack of 2013. He is in Brussels today and said:

“Yesterday’s attacks were disgusting. But those in power continue to hold their noses and pretend it’s nothing to do with them. We’re launching this spoof today to see if public embarrassment might do more to shame world leaders than the litany of Assad’s war crimes.

“Four years ago I lived through a Sarin gas attack and was forced to flee my home. I can never return unless attacks like this are stopped and those responsible held to account. At the moment, the exact opposite seems to be happening.”

The Trump administration has recently signalled a softer position towards Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, suggesting his brutal regime is no longer a ‘priority’ (1). Recent news reports and personal briefings also suggest that some EU leaders are privately considering a reconstruction deal that would not require a political transition away from Assad (2).

The activists gathered outside the Europa building at 0700 this morning to launch a spoof product called the Personal Embarrassment Guard, or ‘peg’. They also displayed posters showing EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini wearing a peg on her nose.

Salma Kahala, another Syrian, is the CEO of Dawalty and is also handing out pegs. She said:

“We’ve entered a seventh year of condemning the Syrian atrocities, but doing nothing to prevent more of them. We want politicians to ask themselves if they have stretched every sinew to stop these terrible attacks. How many can honestly say yes?”


Peg” spoof video files available for download here

Pictures and video from today’s action in Brussels are available here


The activists are currently positioned near the Schumann roundabout, opposite cafe ‘Exki’ in central Brussels. For interviews contact James Turner at The Syria Campaign / +44 7415 515368



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