NEW YORK, April 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC called on the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council to convene urgently to address the rapidly deteriorating situation in Syria, where hundreds of peaceful protestors have been murdered, including, according to news reports, at least 70 today.
"Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, like Libya's merciless ruler Muammar Qadaffi, has chosen to respond to peaceful demonstrators with brute force," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "This intolerable situation must be condemned in the strongest possible terms, and those responsible need to be held accountable for their crimes. The UN simply cannot ignore the human tragedy unfolding in Syria."
"The UN Human Rights Council member states must make clear that Syria's bid for a seat will be rejected," said Harris, noting that Syria is currently one of four candidate countries, with support from the Asian group and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, for four vacant seats on the Council. "Allowing Syria's election next month would make a total mockery of the Council and its stated aim of promoting and protecting human rights. Instead, the Human Rights Council should launch an immediate investigation into the massive human rights abuses committed by the Assad regime."
AJC also called on the UN Security Council to convene a special session on Syria, as it did in the case of Libya in February.
"The UN has a responsibility to come to the aid of Syrian citizens, who seek an end to the ongoing repression of the Assad regime," said Harris. "Just as the Security Council voted unanimously to deplore 'the gross and systematic violation of human rights (in Libya), including the repression of peaceful demonstrators,' the same must happen regarding Syria."
"We look to the U.S. and EU, in particular, to lead the way in developing an effective response to the situation in Syria, which recognizes the true nature of the Assad regime and draws the appropriate conclusions. Until now, regrettably, the message has been decidedly mixed. It's high time to sharpen the message."