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Arab groups ask UN to condemn Syria's crackdown on protesters

Arab World Materials 26 May 2011 06:25 (UTC +04:00)
A group of Arab organizations on Thursday urged the UN Security Council to condemn Syria's use of heavy military weapons to crackdown on protesters.
Arab groups ask UN to condemn Syria's crackdown on protesters

A group of Arab organizations on Thursday urged the UN Security Council to condemn Syria's use of heavy military weapons to crackdown on protesters, DPA reported.

The New York-based advocacy group Crisis Action, which organized the 220 civil society organizations, sent a petition to the 15 UN Security Council members, asking them to break their silence over Syria's killing of protesters.

The petition said an estimated 1,000 civilians have been killed since unrest broke out in March in more than a dozen Syrian cities. It said more than 10,000 civilians have been injured in the military crackdown.

It asked the council to adopt a resolution calling the crackdown "unacceptable."

The European members of the UN Security Council on Wednesday called for the body to condemn Syria's military crackdown on protesters.

Germany, Britain, France and Portugal submitted a draft resolution demanding the condemnation, knowing that the move may be opposed by Russia and China, two veto powers on the 15-nation council. During previous debate related to the popular uprising in Syria, Russian and Chinese diplomats defended Damascus for its important role in the Middle East peace process.

"We are making this appeal because our friends in Syria have been silenced by the regime," said Ziad Abdel Tawab, of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.

"We must speak out on their behalf. As tanks have rolled onto the streets of Syria, and hundreds of people have been deliberately killed, the UN Security Council has remained silent."

Crisis Action said the organizations involved, which are from Egypt, Libya, Qatar, Morocco, Yemen, Syria, Algeria and Saudi Arabia, urged the council to condemn the excessive use of lethal force against protestors in Syria, and demand a complete end to violence, attacks and abuses of civilians.

"The Security Council is being watched by all of us fighting for freedom across the Arab world," said Radwan Zeideh, of the Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies in Syria. "Its credibility is on the line."

Groups signing the petition included the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights, the Algerian Coordination Organisation for the Families of the Missing, the al-Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Bahraini Association for Human Rights, Association of Bahraini Youth for Human Rights, the Iraqi Human Rights Association in Denmark, Iraqi Network for Human Rights and Rawabi Humanitarian Organisation.

The majority of the signers are from Egypt, including the Arab Programme for Human Rights Activists (APHRA), Arab Organization for Civil Society and Human Rights Support and Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Civil Observatory for Human Rights.

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