Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘International Criminal Court’

Houla, Syria & Russia

Dear Gabriel,

We’ve just witnessed the worst violence in the year-long conflict in Syria.

On Friday more than 108 people — including 50 children — were killed in Houla, Syria after a barrage of shells, mortars, rockets and raids. The global response to this horrifying violence was immediate condemnation — and at least 10 countries, including the United States, have since expelled Syrian ambassadors and senior Syrian diplomats.

The ruthless killing of civilians in Houla marks a new low in the Syria crisis. But a massive, renewed international spotlight on the country is our best hope to stop the bloodshed.

Let’s press Russia – which has been a key ally to Syria and has blocked meaningful action in the UN Security Council — to stand up against the brutality and prevent further loss of Syrian lives.

Over the past 14 months nearly 10,000 Syrians have lost their lives. With each passing day, the crisis reaches new levels of horror. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has yet to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

The shocking images that emerged from Syria this weekend are yet one more reason why Russia must stop shielding the Syrian authorities and act to stop the violence there.

Tell the Russian Foreign Minister that we demand better from global leaders.

It’s easy to despair when seeing what’s happened to civilians in Houla and throughout Syria. But a groundswell of public outrage and support could make the difference between dithering diplomacy and decisive action. That’s why we need to urge Russia to stop blocking the UN Security Council from referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

The situation in Syria is desperate. The Syrian people are counting on us to seize this opportunity for action. Thank you for coming together to show Syrians they are not alone.

With hope and determination,

Sanjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East and North Africa
Amnesty International USA

Arrest the Torturers

From Avaaz.org

Arrest the Torturers

Dear Friends,

This is hard to report, but Avaaz’s own members are being tortured by Syria’s monstrous regime. Manhal* reports that he was held in a secret prison where they pulled out his fingernails and toenails and electrocuted his body parts. “I have seen death, and I’ve been tortured nearly to death,” he’s told us. But if we act now, we can make Manhal’s sacrifice the last straw that turns the whole world against the Assad regime.

The Arab League’s observers have failed to stop the brutal crackdown, but pressure on Assad is mounting. Avaaz has just released a terrifying report revealing the scale of Syria’s detention facilities, including what they did to Manhal. If we build a massive global outcry now, we can force key governments to confront the horrors in this report and accelerate the end of Assad.

Sign the petition right now, and when we reach 500,000 signatures we’ll deliver it along with Avaaz’s report to the Arab League and the United Nations Security Council, demanding they refer Assad to the International Criminal Court to be tried for crimes against humanity:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/arrest_syrias_torturers_/?vl

The UN has already stated that there have been crimes against humanity in Syria. Now the regime is being dealt its next critical blow — a harrowing report compiled by Avaaz’s brave Syrian activists making the final link that those crimes against humanity were committed by high-level members of the Assad regime. No other report has detailed high-level links to regime torture to this extent — it could be our best chance to get the world to act.

We all had hoped that the Arab League’s monitoring mission could stop the violence, but they have been compromised and discredited. Despite witnessing Assad’s snipers first-hand, the monitors have just extended their observation period without a call for urgent action. This is allowing countries like Russia, China and India to stall the United Nations from taking action, while the regime’s pathetic defense for its despicable acts has been that it is fighting a terrorist insurgency, not a peaceful democracy movement. But reports like the one Avaaz is releasing put the lie to this corrupt and atrocious regime. Now we just need the world to witness the horrors it contains.

The time could be up for Assad if we raise a deafening wave of public pressure to tip the scales. Let’s unite the world to demand that the UN Security Council refer the brutal Syrian regime to the International Criminal Court to be tried for crimes against humanity. Sign now and tell everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/arrest_syrias_torturers_/?vl

Across the Arab world, people power has toppled dictator after dictator, and our amazing Avaaz community has been at the heart of these struggles for democracy, breaking the media blackouts imposed by corrupt leaders, empowering citizen journalists, providing vital emergency relief to communities under siege, and helping protect hundreds of activists and their families from regime thugs. Let’s not let Manhal’s suffering for freedom be in vain. Let’s demand the UN take action now.

With hope and determination,

Luis, Ian, Maria Paz, Ricken, Emma, Stephanie, Wissam, Heather and the whole Avaaz team

* – “Manhal’s” name has been changed to protect his identity.

Take Action On Syria

The UN Security Council has urged Syria’s president to make good on his stated commitment to reform. But what has the Council actually done to stop the widespread abuses being committed in Syria?

Certainly not all it could do.

If the Council was serious about stopping the widespread abuses, then it would demand accountability for the Syrian government’s brutal crimes.

If the Council was serious about stopping the widespread abuses, then it would impose strict measures against Syria, including an arms embargo and freezing the assets of President al-Assad.

What are they waiting for? Urge South Africa, India and Brazil to speak up now to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

Most certainly, if the Council was serious about stopping the widespread abuses, then it would refer the worsening situation to the International Criminal Court. This would be the strongest signal possible that individual perpetrators will face justice and deter future violations.

Some members of the Security Council are getting the message and have begun calling for concrete action. But petty political bickering within the Council has swayed increasingly influential members — South Africa, India and Brazil — to the side of inaction.

Until the Council takes firm action, the people of Syria remain at the mercy of a government that shows no signs of stopping its 5 month-long crackdown on human rights.

Right now, Amnesty is building a powerful case against Syria. The evidence of grave human rights abuses is mounting.

Here is where pressure from supporters like you makes all the difference.

In the coming weeks we’ll be unveiling some new data that we’re confident will cause a stir. This evidence will certainly get people talking, but we need you to help get them moving!

Every message of support counts. Tell the governments of South Africa, India and Brazil that it’s time to get serious about Syria.

In Solidarity,

Christoph Koettl
Campaigner, Crisis Prevention and Response
Amnesty International USA

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