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    Russia and China Failing UN Security Council Commitment: CIVICUS

    Johannesburg 22 June 2011. As the daily death toll from the protests in Syria rapidly mounts, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is urging all members of the UN Security Council to fulfil their mandate to maintain international peace and security through a resolution strongly condemning the actions of the Syrian regime and to impose sanctions  that will prevent the military from targeting civilians.

    Reports indicate that the adoption of a UN Security Council resolution to stop the Syrian government from unleashing violence on protesters has been delayed due to opposition from Chinese and Russian diplomatic delegations. “We are concerned that UN Security Council members, especially China and Russia, are dithering in the performance of their responsibilities with regard to gross human rights violations being committed in Syria,” said Netsanet Belay, Policy and Research Director at CIVICUS. “The UN’s Peace and Security body cannot afford to remain paralysed in the face of indiscriminate violence by government troops and the rising numbers of refugees fleeing Syria because of their actions.”

    The UN Human Rights Council has already issued a resolution expressing deep regret over the deaths of hundreds of people in the ongoing political protests, and has voiced grave concern over the alleged deliberate killings, arrests and incidents of torture of demonstrators by the Syrian authorities. The resolution passed on 29 April requested the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to despatch a mission to Syria to carry out an investigation into and report on violations of international law, including crimes against civilians by government troops.

    “Thel members of the UN Security Council should not need to be reminded that the military crackdown on protesters in Syria has already claimed over 1400 lives, many of them children felled by bullets,” said David Kode, Policy Officer at CIVICUS.  “The authorities have so far refused to heed the call by the UN Human Rights Council to free all prisoners of conscience and to stop the persecution of human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists.”

    CIVICUS urges all democratic countries sitting in the UN Security Council to send a clear and unequivocal message to Syria’s rulers that their tyrannical actions are being closely watched by the international community, who stand in solidarity with the legitimate demands of the pro-democracy protestors. “This is an important occasion for the UN Security Council to coalesce around a major threat to international peace and security and to act in the larger interests of their mandate.   Failure to act in this case amounts to support for the regime.”

    CIVICUS stands in solidarity with the right of all global citizens to assemble, associate and express their views peacefully.

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    Be the Change

    BE THE CHANGE is a new global public awareness campaign around citizen action and `civic space’.


    BE THE CHANGE seeks to inspire and celebrate citizen action and raise awareness about `civic space’, the importance of it and our need to protect it. The freedom to speak out (freedom of expression), to organise (freedom of association) and to take action (freedom of assembly) are all part of what is called `civic space’ and no one has the right to deny you these rights. Learn more about this exciting new campaign by visiting us at www.civicus.org/bethechange/ 

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