Background: When army tanks recently rolled into the city of Dera’a in southern Syria and began shelling residential areas, the human rights crisis in the country reached a new low. More than 400 people have died across Syria since protestors calling for political reform took to the streets in mid-March. Hundreds of people have been arbitrarily arrested and detained incommunicado, placing them at serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Torture of detainees has long been common and endemic in Syria.
Amnesty International has repeatedly urged the Syrian government to rein in the security forces, cease unlawful killings and other excessive force, and for independent investigations and accountability – with those responsible for human rights violations being brought to justice.
The Syrian authorities have failed to take these steps and intensified repression. Consequently, Amnesty International has called on the UN Security Council to refer Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, to impose an arms embargo and to freeze the assets abroad of the Syrian President and his senior associates.
We need your help to get Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop the killing of protestors and other human rights violations without delay.
Peaceful protests inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, where popular protests brought the downfall of longstanding presidents, and organized partly through social networking sites such as Facebook began in February but took off after 18 March when security forces fired on peaceful protestors in Dera’a using live ammunition and killing several. The protestors were calling for the release of local youth who had been arrested for scrawling“the people want the downfall of the regime” on a wall in the city.
Since then protests have mushroomed and taken place in many different towns and cities, and they have been met with increasing repression – killings, arrests and torture. Even so, the protests have continued as Syrians risk bullets to demand their rights. Please help ensure an end to the bloodshed.
To: His Excellency President Bashar al-Assad
I support AI’s call to refer Syria to the ICC and urge Your Excellency to:
– Stop the killings in Syria by immediately reining in the army and security forces and
– Respect Syrian people’s right to peaceful protest.
We will deliver your signatures to different Syrian embassies around the world as well as to the President himself. This petition will close on 18 May, exactly two months after protestors and others were first killed in Syria.