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As fighting resumed in the stricken Syrian city of Aleppo today, Amnesty International called for the deployment of monitors from the United Nations to help protect thousands of fleeing civilians from potential revenge attacks and other human rights violations.

Heavy shelling has been reported in eastern Aleppo despite a ceasefire agreed on Tuesday to allow the evacuation of tens of thousands of civilians and thousands of rebel fighters.

“It is shameful yet unsurprising that, despite the fact the Syrian government agreed last night to the evacuation, civilians fleeing their homes have come under fire today. We fear that without proper monitoring, people leaving eastern Aleppo will be at risk of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance or extrajudicial execution,” said Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International. 

“All parties to the conflict must make the safe evacuation of civilians a priority at this critical time and provide unfettered access for impartial humanitarian assistance in eastern Aleppo so that life-saving aid can reach those in need.”