SI denounces Syrian defiance of growing calls to cease violence

28 November 2011

Syria continues to ignore international calls to end an eight-month campaign of violence against its own people.

The 22-member Arab League, which has taken a clear stand against the ongoing violence and repression of the Syrian people at the hands of the Assad regime, voted on Saturday to freeze Syrian assets and place an embargo on investments in an unprecedented move after Syria failed to comply with the League’s demands to allow an observer mission into the country. Damascus had until Thursday to admit 500 civil and military observers into Syria to help chart progress on human rights and monitor efforts to implement a peace plan signed with the League at the beginning of November.

But just ten days after agreeing to stop killing protesters and withdraw military units from its streets – both key pillars of the plan – Syria was formally suspended from the League for failing to honour the agreement.

Meanwhile, a series of attacks have claimed further Syrian lives in recent days. At least 11 people were killed in violence in different parts of the country, including Homs, Damascus, Deraa and Deir el-Zour.

The total number of people killed in the Syrian uprising, which began in January with peaceful protests against the 41 year rule of the Assad family, is now thought to stand at more than 3,500.

The Chair of the UN Committee against Torture, concluding its 47th session in Geneva, declared last Friday that “of particular concern are reports referring to children who have suffered torture and mutilation while detained; as well as cases of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; arbitrary detention by police forces and the military; and enforced and involuntary disappearances”.

The Socialist International, which continues to monitor the situation in Syria closely, again calls for an end to impunity for Syrian forces – and all perpetrators of human rights violations in Syria.

It welcomes the Arab League's vote to impose sanctions on Syria in response to the Assad regime's continued violence.

These brutal attacks must stop immediately and Syria must adhere to the conditions of the Arab League plan it signed on 2 November. The sanctions imposed by the Arab League this weekend clearly demonstrate that the quest for democracy of the Syrian people is in the forefront of concerns of the international community.