Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

SYRIA: The EU should take concrete steps to protect the Syrian people and put an end to immunity of those responsible of severe human rights violations

SYRIA: The EU should take concrete steps to protect the
Syrian people and put an end to immunity of those responsible of severe human
rights violations

Copenhagen 29 April 2011. The Euro-Mediterranean Human
Rights Network (EMHRN) calls on the European Union to urgently adopt sanctions
to respond to the continuous escalation of violence used by the Syrian
authorities to repress the peaceful movement of protest.

 “The Syrian people
have addressed a clear message to their government, claiming they will no
longer tolerate the climate of fear and impunity for the security forces”, said
EMHRN president, Kamel Jendoubi. “The EU must relay this legitimate claim by
taking concrete measures to force the Syrian authorities to immediately cease
the repression and shed light into what appears as international crimes”.

Since mid-March, more than 400 civilians have been killed in
relation with their participation in the obviously peaceful pro-democracy
demonstrations. In addition to this, hundreds have been wounded, mainly as a
consequence of the disproportionate use of the force by the Syrian authorities
to disperse demonstrators.

As for today, the security forces are still conducting
massive crackdowns and arbitrary arrests across the country. Hundreds of
persons have been detained including journalists, physicians, trade unionists
and human rights defenders. Ill treatments and torture appear to be systematic.

The repression has crossed a new line in the last few days
as military forces and security services have been deployed in a number of
cities, shelling and raiding civilian housings indiscriminately. Electricity
and water supplies were cut off in a number of cases, as well as communications
means in a bid to prevent dissemination of information on the situation in the
field.

On 28 April, the UN SC failed to agree on a common position
on the violent crackdown. “The situation has become too grave for European
leaders to limit themselves to condemnation statements” stated EMHRN president
Kamel Jendoubi. “The EU must now assume its responsibilities by imposing
sanctions on all persons who may be involved in these crimes and take
appropriate measures to ensure that those who are responsible be accountable.”

At the occasion of the special session convened on Friday 29
April to discuss the human rights situation in Syria, the UN Human Rights
Council should establish an international investigation mechanism into severe
human rights violations perpetrated in the country since the beginning of the
protests.

The EMHRN urges the European Union to adopt appropriate
sanctions in order to put an end to the repression in Syria, including freezing
assets of Syrian officials involved in the repression, imposing embargo on arms
trade with Syria and take concrete measures to support human rights activists
and civilians.

For more information, please contact:

Henriette Irminger Sonne, EMHRN, communications officer
(Danish, English, French): +4530828337

Shaimaa Abou Elkhir, EMHRN communications officer (English,
Arabic): +20101077207

Marta Semplici

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network

Réseau Euro-Méditerranéen des Droits de l’Homme

Project Assistant/Assistante de Projet

Tel. +33 (0)148 18 06 86

mse@euromedrights.net

www.euromedrights.org