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Security Council: Russia must not block efforts to end atrocities in Syria
Amnesty International
1 February 2012
Russia must not block international efforts to tackle the ongoing violence and human rights violations in Syria, Amnesty International said today amid negotiations over a resolution on Syria at the UN Security Council.

Russian officials have threatened to veto the resolution if it comes to a vote.

Russia was one of several Security Council members to block a previous resolution on Syria on 4 October 2011. According to reports received by Amnesty International, more than 2,600 people have been killed in Syria since then.

“Russia’s threats to abort a binding UN Security Council resolution on Syria for the second time are utterly irresponsible. Russia bears a heavy responsibility for allowing the brutal crackdown on legitimate dissent in Syria to continue unchecked,” said José Luis Díaz, Amnesty International's representative to the UN in New York. (…)

As the Syrian government’s largest overseas arms supplier, Russia has reportedly continued arms shipments into the country in recent weeks, even as Arab League observers reported back on ongoing human rights violations carried out by Syrian security forces.

Amnesty International has called for the Security Council resolution to refer the deteriorating situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, impose an arms embargo on Syria and to freeze the foreign assets of President Bashar al-Assad and other senior figures. (…)

While the latest draft UN Security Council resolution is a step in the right direction, it fails to request an asset freeze, the referral of situation in Syria to the ICC or a comprehensive arms embargo.

Amnesty International has concluded that crimes against humanity are taking place in Syria – a finding also made by a UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry months ago. The draft resolution does not echo the UN Commission’s explicit call for independent and impartial investigations of all suspected perpetrators of such grave crimes. (…)

“It is encouraging that the UNSC is finally poised to take action to address the Syrian crisis. But the draft falls short of what’s required,” said José Luis Díaz. (…)
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