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It has been over four months since the beginning of largely peaceful protests in Syria calling for political reform and for the Syrian President to step down. The Syrian authorities’ response to their people’s demands has so far been brutal to say the least.
According to Amnesty International’s research, the human rights violations committed by the Syrian security forces and army since mass protests began in mid-March include unlawful killings and torture. They appear to have been committed as part of a widespread - as well as systematic - attack on the civilian population and, in some cases, to amount to crimes against humanity.
That is why Amnesty International has called on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, to impose an arms embargo and to freeze the assets abroad of the Syrian President and his senior associates.
So far the UN Security Council has been silent on Syria – failing to take action to help protect peaceful dissent in the country.
Some members of the Council have introduced a resolution on Syria which could be a first step towards a referral to the International Criminal Court. However, voting on the resolution is currently blocked by six other members. We believe that, three of those six, Brazil, South Africa and India, could be persuaded to change their position with sufficient international pressure.
Brazil, South Africa and India aspire to become permanent members of the UN Security Council and, as such, we believe that they have an increasing responsibility to try to bring an end to the violent crackdown in Syria. Please help ensure that Brazil, South Africa and India do not shy away from their responsibilities.