Will UN Finally Act On Syria Atrocities?

August 1, 2011

© Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

The situation in Syria further escalated over the weekend. Yesterday alone, more than 100 people were reportedly killed across the country and the death toll is feared to be increasing.

In a by now familiar pattern, Syrian authorities used tanks and snipers to attack civilians. We believe that the crimes committed in Syria constitute crimes against humanity.

I just learned that the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Syria later today and I urge you to sign our online petition to call on Brazil, India and South Africa to end their opposition to a Security Council resolution condemning the grave human rights violations.

The time for inaction is over and members of the Security Council have to fulfill their responsibility to act by referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court and imposing an arms embargo.

World Leaders Call For Accountability
I am tracking responses by world leaders to the escalating violence in Syria. What follows is a short sample, in case I missed anything, just let me know via Twitter.

The Secretary-General reminds the Syrian authorities that they are accountable under international human rights law for all acts of violence perpetrated by them against the civilian population
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

I am appalled by the Syrian government’s use of violence and brutality against its own people. The reports out of Hama are horrifying and demonstrate the true character of the Syrian regime.  Once again, President Assad has shown that he is completely incapable and unwilling to respond to the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people. His use of torture, corruption and terror puts him on the wrong side of history and his people
US President Barack Obama

This attack and the continuing crackdown in other Syrian cities is even more unacceptable coming on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan
EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton

Syrian political, military and security leaders must know, now more than ever, that they will have to answer for their deeds. The continuing of the repression and atrocities against civilians is particularly unacceptable on the eve of the month of Ramadan and can only lead to more instability and violence across the country
French Foreign Ministry statement

While Turkey was expecting (Syria) to work for a peaceful atmosphere during the holy month of Ramadan, it is deeply saddened and disappointed together with the entire Islamic world by the current developments on the eve of holy month of Ramadan
Turkish Foreign Ministry statement

South Africa, Brazil, India
No Comment

The UN Security Council is expected to meet later today. Please take urgent action now to end the shameful silence by South Africa, Brazil and India.