Russia urged to back UN Syria move

 

Campaigners from around the world are urging Russia to back the UN Security Council and help bring an end to the crisis in Syria, coinciding with what they are calling the one-year anniversary of violence in the country.

A coalition of 200 non-government organisations (NGOs) from 27 countries is demanding that the UN Security Council unites and passes a resolution calling on the Syrian government to stop shelling civilian neighbourhoods and stop other violations of international law, arbitrary arrests and torture, as well as granting urgent access to humanitarian workers, journalists and human rights monitors.

The group includes Human Rights Watch, Christian Aid, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, CIVICUS and the International Federation of Human Rights.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said: "Russia and China have twice blocked Security Council action, a defence of Assad that he has interpreted as a licence to kill.

"Moscow and Beijing should stop providing diplomatic cover for Syrian atrocities, and start demanding an end to indiscriminate shelling and attacks on peaceful protesters."

Souher Belhassen, president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), added: "The Syrian people have survived with outstanding courage one year of systematic and widespread crimes and bloodshed as the world stood by and watched.

"The international community must unite and help Syrians bring an end to the horror."

The coalition wants the UN Security Council to urgently pass a resolution calling on the Syrian government to bring an immediate end to its indiscriminate shelling and attacks on peaceful protesters, and also for the international community to provide full support to Kofi Annan, UN special representative for Syria, including engaging Russia and China in any UN initiative to end the crisis.

It also wants the Syrian government and other armed actors to guarantee full and unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas of the country in which there is a need in accordance with international law, and for the Friends of Syria group to uphold promises to provide funding for humanitarian assistance.

A Twitter Campaign has also been set up, hoped to reach several million people, with well-known Twitterati involved, including British actor Stephen Fry and singer Nelly Furtado.

Ziad Abdel Tawab, deputy director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights, said: "For a full year, the death toll in Syria has escalated to the horrifying total of more than 8,000 dead, including hundreds of children.

"Isn't it time for the world to unite behind effective steps to stop this now?"

The coalition's call follows an announcement this week by the UN that it would shortly deploy human rights monitors to neighbouring states to collect evidence of atrocities in Syria.

Access to the country itself is almost impossible for observers.

Also this week, Amnesty International said it had fresh evidence of widespread abuses of civilians detained by security forces in the year-long crackdown on anti-government protests.

In a report that identified 31 torture methods described by witnesses, Amnesty said the situation resembled the "nightmare" of Syria in the 1970s and 1980s, when the country was ruled by the father of today's president, Bashar Assad.

Amnesty based its conclusion on testimony gathered from Syrians in Jordan - including 25 who said they had been tortured.

Its report concluded: "The testimony presented in this report, taken in the context of other human rights violations committed against civilians in Syria, is yet further evidence that torture and other ill-treatment in Syria form part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population - carried out in an organised manner and as part of state policy and therefore amount to crimes against humanity."

At least 276 people had so far died in custody, it said, with security forces effectively given impunity to torture despite it being outlawed by a new constitution.

PA

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Web Developer/UI Developer (HTML5, CSS3,Jquery) London

£55000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

Data Scientist (SQL, PHP, RSPSS, CPLEX, SARS, AI) - London

£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...

C# Web Developer (C#, MS Dynamics CRM, SQL, SQl Server) London

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

Oracle developer- (Oracle, PL/SQL, UNIX/LINUX) - Trade- London

£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: One of the global leaders in prov...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering