International community must end “double standards” and act in Syria

Johannesburg. 25 May 2011. The United Nations Security Council decision to act resolutely in Libya and failure to issue resolution on Syria smacks of double standards, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation said today. The international community and particularly the Arab League should make clear to the Syrian government that it has lost its legitimacy as a member of the international community.

Since anti-government protests started two months ago, about 1100 people have been killed by Syrian security forces. At least 60 people were killed within the space of two days on Friday May 20 and Saturday May 21 alone.  Reports indicate that thousands of civilians and prisoners of conscience have been detained.

“The international community cannot afford double standards and selectively apply international law to react to the crisis in Libya while turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by the government of Syria,” said Netsanet Belay, Policy and Research Director at CIVICUS.   “It is imperative that the UN Security Council express its condemnation of the ruthless campaign orchestrated by the Syrian president and his thugs through a resolution.”

While sanctions imposed on President Bashar Al-Assad and his key conspirators by the European Union are welcome, it appears that travel restrictions, asset freezes and arms embargoes have not stopped the Syrian authorities from unleashing deadly repression against the people of Syria, CIVICUS said.

“It is time that the UN Security Council and the Arab League send a clear message to the Syrian authorities that a government that does not respect the rights of its citizens and has no regard for the value of human life is a pariah in the Community of Nations,” said David Kode, Policy Officer at CIVICUS.

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is a global movement dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society across the world.

For more information please contact CIVICUS:

Rowena McNaughton (, +27 76 869 5293) Media Officer or David Kode () Policy Officer

Office Tel: +27 11 833 5959


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