PERSUADE THE U.N. TO AID THE SYRIAN PEOPLE (VICTIMS) NOW


AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL IS ASKING YOU TO GET INVOLVED. PLEASE HELP OUR FRIENDS IN SYRIA.–kas

To date, the UN Security Council has remained silent on the situation in Syria. Three critical members of the UN Security Council need to join other members to call on the Syrian government to stop the use of tanks, snipers and torture to suppress peaceful dissent. Members of the UN Security Council have an increased responsibility to work on an end to the violent crackdown in Syria. By supporting the current draft resolution, Brazil, South Africa and India can help to end in the bloodshed and ensure accountability for the crimes committed.

Report reveals crimes against humanity in Syrian town

The brutal methods used in a devastating Syrian security operation in the western town of Tell Kalakh may constitute crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said today in a new report.

Crackdown in Syria: Terror in Tell Kalakh documents deaths in custody, torture and arbitrary detention that took place in May when Syrian army and security forces mounted a broad security sweep, lasting less than a week, against residents of the town near the Lebanese border.

“The accounts we have heard from witnesses to events in Tell Kalakh paint a deeply disturbing picture of systematic, targeted abuses to crush dissent,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

“Most of the crimes described in this report would fall within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. But the UN Security Council must first refer the situation in Syria to the Court’s Prosecutor.”

The paper’s findings are based on interviews carried out in Lebanon and by phone with more than 50 people in May and June. Amnesty International has not been allowed to enter Syria.

The operation began on 14 May when the army and security forces entered Tell Kalakh following a demonstration calling for the downfall of the regime.

At least one person, 24-year-old Ali al-Basha was killed on that first day, apparently by snipers, and even the ambulance carrying his body came under fire. As many tried to leave, Syrian forces fired on fleeing families.

The following days saw scores of male residents, including some aged over 60 and boys aged less than 18 years, rounded up and detained. Every family from Tell Kalakh that Amnesty International met in Lebanon said they had at least one relative in detention.

Most of those detained were tortured, some even as they were being arrested, according to accounts. In one incident, soldiers transporting detainees counted how many they had arrested by stabbing lit cigarettes on the backs of their necks.

Detainees told Amnesty International that Military Security, one of the security forces which detrained people, used the shabah (ghost) method, where the detainee is forced into a stress position for long periods and beaten, in these cases by being tied by the wrists to a bar high enough off the ground to force the detainee to stand on the tip of their toes.

Twenty year-old “Mahmoud”, who was arrested on 16 May and released after nearly a month in detention, was held for around five days at the Military Security detention facility in Homs:
“Each day [was] the same story. They tied me up in the shabah position and applied electricity to my body and testicles. Sometimes I screamed very loudly and begged the interrogator to stop. He didn’t care.”

At least nine people died in custody after being arrested during the security operation in Tell Kalakh, according to witnesses. Eight of these men – some of whom had been active in demonstrations – were shot at and wounded as they were ordered out of a house, and were then taken away by soldiers.

It was only around two weeks later that relatives were told to go to a military hospital to identify the bodies of the eight men. Witnesses said the bodies had marks on them which suggested torture, including cuts to the chest, long vertical slashes on the thighs and what seemed to be gunshot wounds on the back of the legs.

A forensic pathologist analysed a photograph of one of the men, Abd al-Rahman Abu Libdeh, for Amnesty International and concluded that he seemed to have sustained violent injuries to the face, shoulders and neck while still alive.

Some of the family members who went to identify the bodies of their sons said they were forced to sign a document stating that their sons were killed by armed gangs.

Amnesty International knows that a number of people arrested during the security operation in Tell Kalakh still remain in detention, including a 17-year-old boy.

The organization called on the Syrian authorities to release all those arbitrarily arrested and those detained for taking part in peaceful demonstrations or expressing views of dissent, including children.

Report reveals crimes against humanity in Syrian town

* International Justice
* Syria
* Individuals at Risk

Amnesty International considers that crimes committed in Tell Kalakh amount to crimes against humanity as they appear to be part of a widespread, as well as systematic, attack against the civilian population.

Amnesty International reiterated its call on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. It also urged the Syrian authorities to provide unimpeded access to UN investigators currently looking into the human rights situation in Syria.

”The willingness of the international community to take action on Libya in the name of human rights has highlighted its double standards on Syria,” said Philip Luther.

“Despite President Bashar al-Assad’s talk of reform, there is little evidence so far that the Syrian authorities will respond to anything but concrete international measures.”

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About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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2 Responses to PERSUADE THE U.N. TO AID THE SYRIAN PEOPLE (VICTIMS) NOW

  1. eslkevin says:

    DEAR: Antonio de Aguiar Patriota – Minister of Foreign Affairs, S M Krishna – Minister of External Affairs, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane – Minister of Intl Relations and Co-operation, Brazil Embassy, India Embassy, South Africa Embassy

    http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=16266&msource=W1107EAMNA1&tr=y&auid=8673730

    SUBJECT: Help to Stop The Bloodshed in Syria

    I am writing to urge you, as representatives of the governments of Brazil, South Africa and India, to support the current draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria and thereby to join other members of the Council in calling on the Syrian government to stop the use of tanks, snipers and torture to suppress peaceful dissent. To date, the UN Security Council has remained silent on the situation in Syria. This is despite reports of widespread human rights violations across the country and Amnesty International’s assessment that crimes against humanity are being committed by the Syrian security forces and army in their crackdown on dissent.

    On July 6, 2011, Amnesty International released a report entitled Crackdown in Syria: Terror in Tell
    Kalakh, which documents arbitrary detention, deaths in custody and acts of torture committed in May when Syrian army and security forces mounted a security sweep against residents of Tell Kalakh. The human rights violations documented by Amnesty International in Tell Kalakh may constitute crimes against humanity.

    The events detailed in the report reflect the patterns of human rights violations that Amnesty International has documented elsewhere in Syria during the crackdown on mass protests, including murder, torture, arbitrary detention and other inhumane acts which appear to have been committed pursuant to state policy and in an organized manner as part of a widespread, as well as systematic, attack against the civilian population. As such, they may constitute crimes against humanity. More than four months into the pro-reform uprising, over 1,200 people have died in the protests.

    Your current membership on the UN Security Council is a crucial opportunity to take the necessary steps to stop the bloodshed. Please join other members of the UN Security Council in calling on the Syrian government to end the use of tanks, snipers and torture to suppress peaceful dissent, and support the draft resolution currently being debated by the UN Security Council.

    Thank you for your consideration of this request. I look forward to seeing your government demonstrate leadership in response to the situation in Syria. The bloodshed must cease immediately, and there must be accountability for the human rights violations committed in Syria.

  2. eslkevin says:

    Kevin,

    When he was buried in May, Majd al-Kurdy was nearly unrecognizable. His face was severely disfigured. He had cuts to the chest, long vertical slashes on the thighs, and what looked like gunshot wounds on the back of his legs.

    https://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/apps/ka/sd/donorcustom.asp?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6662481&msource=W1107EDMNAJB&tr=y&auid=8703416

    Majd was buried with his brother So’dat, who also showed signs of mutilation. They were Syrians, two of nine young men seized by the Syrian army during an attack in Tell Kalakh.

    During the raid, scores of men were arbitrarily arrested and tortured, including people already wounded. Security forces shot people as they fled to Lebanon.

    Majd’s body was returned to his family in a nylon sack. They identified him by the tattoo of his girlfriend on his upper arm.

    It’s a detail I cannot shake.

    As human rights supporters we must lead the call for justice and an end to this violence. Become a member of Amnesty International today to help fight for human rights in Syria and the world over.

    What happened to Majd and his brother — and so many of their fellow Syrians — is unspeakable. Amnesty International’s report, “Crackdown in Syria: Terror in Tell Kalakh,” documents the torture and slaughter inflicted by the Syrian army.

    “My father was shocked by the death of my brother…we all were. When he went to the military hospital in Homs to identify his body, the officer there said to him: ‘He’s a pig who suffocated.'” – Brother of a young man who died in custody after being arrested by Syrian forces

    The UN Security Council knows of these crimes but will not act. Key Council member countries South Africa, India and Brazil have shamefully refused to condemn Syria’s human rights violations and refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.

    But they will move if we ratchet up the pressure. Your membership could help make that happen, but you must act quickly. Give hope for justice and human dignity. Become a member of Amnesty now.

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