Upcoming events:

Last Men in Aleppo: What role can the UK play in Syria?
Monday 27th November, 5.30 to 7pm, Palace of Westminster.

This December will mark a year since the fall of Aleppo. The fall of one of the world’s most ancient and culturally significant cities laid bare just how much governments around the world have failed the people of Syria. As we approach this sombre first anniversary, the Friends of Syria APPG invites you to a discussion around the award-winning film Last Men in Aleppo.

Feras Fayyad, Last Men in Aleppo filmmaker
Khaled Khateeb, White Helmets cinematographer
Tom Tugendhat MP, Foreign Affairs Committee Chair

Chaired by Alison McGovern MP, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Friends of Syria.

The event will include clips from the award-winning film Last Men in Aleppo. The film follows the fall of Aleppo through the eyes three founding members of the White Helmets, notably Khaled Farrah and his family as they make the agonising decision about whether to flee, or to stay and help.


Under siege: Humanitarian access in Syria
Tuesday 12th December, 3 to 4pm, Portcullis House.

In the Syrian conflict, the issue of humanitarian aid has been politicised and militarised. Agreed terms for cross-border aid come up for renewal at the UN Security Council in January. Meanwhile inside Syria, civilians in besieged communities are once again dying from malnutrition and the blocking of medical care.

The APPG Friends of Syria is hosting a discussion on humanitarian access with journalist Emma Beals, and experts from Siege Watch and the Syrian American Medical Society.


Some of our past events:

Raqqa and beyond: The fight against ISIS and its aftermath
Tuesday 24th October 3 to 5pm, Committee Room 18, Palace of Westminster.

Following the defeat of ISIS in Raqqa, the All-Party Parliamentary Group Friends of Syria met on 24th October to hear about the effects of the military campaign, and what should follow on from it.

The speakers were Kinda Haddad of Airwars, Ikbal Ben Gaied Hassine of People Demand Change, and Rana Khalaf, fellow with the Centre for Syria Studies, University of Saint Andrews, and the meeting was chaired by Alison McGovern, co-chair of the APPG and Member of Parliament for Wirral South.

A transcript of the event is here.

Families For Freedom: Women campaigning to free Syria’s detained and disappeared
Wednesday 11 October, 3.30 to 5pm, Palace of Westminster.

A joint event by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security and the All-Party Parliamentary Group Friends of Syria, to meet Families For Freedom, a women-led campaign for the rights of detainees in Syria, and to discuss what the UK can do to help Syria’s disappeared.

Chaired by Baroness Hodgson of Abinger, co-chair of the APPG on Women, Peace and Security.

A report on the event is included in Syria Notes No. 17. View and download a PDF here.

Syria’s Disappeared
This event was cancelled due to the Westminster attack on 22 March 2017. We hope to reschedule as soon as possible.

The event was to have been a panel discussion on treatment of people in detention centres under Syrian regime of President Assad, including screening of clips from Channel 4 documentary Syria’s Disappeared: The Case Against Assad.

The documentary is available to watch from Channel 4.

Speakers were to have included:
  • Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Minister for the Middle East and Africa).
  • Rt Hon Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary.
  • Sara Afshar, Director and producer of ‘Syria’s Disappeared: The Case Against Assad’.
  • Toby Cadman, International criminal lawyer.
  • Mazen Alhummada, survivor of torture in detention, featured in the film.
  • Mariam Alhallak, mother whose son Ayham died in detention, featured in the film.
The meeting was to have been chaired by Krishnan Guru-Murthy and introduced by Alison McGovern MP.
Photo by Jimmy Wales.

Siege Watch: On Syrian communities under siege
Tuesday 31 January 2017, 2.45pm, Committee Room 14.

With Valerie Szybala of The Syria Institute and Ahmad Baroudi of Save The Children.

Chaired by Alison McGovern of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Friends of Syria

A meeting with Valerie Szybala of The Syria Institute to learn about the work of Siege Watch, a joint monitoring project with PAX, and to discuss their latest report. All Siege Watch reports are available here.

Ms. Valerie Szybala is Executive Director and co-founder of The Syria Institute, an independent, non-profit, non-partisan research institution based in Washington, DC.

Ahmad Baroudi works with Save the Children in Lebanon and Turkey on media and communications.

Screening: The White Helmets
22 November 2016, 2pm to3:30pm, Committee Room 11.

  • Raed Saleh, head of Syria Civil Defence
  • Farouq Habib, head of training
Chaired by Alison McGovern MP.

Interviews with event participants here.

Little Atoms report here.

Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 18 October 2016, 5pm to 5.30pm, Room P of Portcullis House.

Chaired by Rt Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP.

Meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Friends of Syria
Tuesday 13 September 2016, 11am to 12 noon, Committee Room 16.

  • Anas Alabdah, President of the Syrian National Coalition
  • Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon
  • Hamish de Bretton-Gordon OBE
Chaired by Rt Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP.

Remarks by Hamish de Bretton-Gordon here.

Meeting Syrian human rights activists Mazen Darwish and Yara Bader
Tuesday 19th July 2016, 3:45pm to 5pm, Committee Room 6.

The APPG Friends of Syria, in cooperation with English PEN, Amnesty International UK, and PEN International, hosted a meeting with Syrian activists Mazen Darwish and Yara Bader.

Chaired by Rt Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP.

Event details here.

See the special issue of Syria Notes on detainees produced for this event.

Evidence session on military policy
Tuesday 9th February 2016, 4pm–6pm, Committee Room 11.

  • Major General (Retired) Tim Cross CBE
  • Lina Khatib, Arab Reform Initiative
  • Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham
  • Ibrahim Olabi, Syrian Legal Development Programme
  • Thomas Pierret, University of Edinburgh
Chaired by Jo Cox MP.

Evidence session on diplomacy
Wednesday 20th January 2016, 4pm–6pm, Committee Room 12.

  • Laila Alodaat, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
  • Ian Bond, Centre for European Reform
  • Daniel Levy, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Kadri Liik, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Hussein Sabbagh, National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces
  • Bente Scheller, Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Jeremy Shapiro, European Council on Foreign Relations
Chaired by Jo Cox MP.

Evidence session on the humanitarian crisis and UK policy response
Monday 23rd November 2015, 11am–1pm, Committee Room 11.

  • Max Hadorn, UNOCHA
  • Amal Kaoua, Save the Children
  • Rouba Mhaissen, Sawa for Development and Aid
  • David Nott, emergency trauma surgeon
  • Fadel Moghrabi, cardiothoracic surgeon
  • Aula Abbara, Hand in Hand medical team
  • Wael Aleji, Syrian Network for Human Rights
Chaired by Jo Cox MP.

A ministerial overview of the crisis with Tobias Ellwood MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
5–6pm, Tuesday 17th November 2015, Committee Room 9.

Chaired by Jo Cox MP.