Your Excellency, Dr. Nabil El Araby, Secretary General, League of Arab States
In advance of the extraordinary meeting of the Arab Ministers of Foreign Affairs on Syria to be held on June 2, 2012, we the undersigned, representing Arab and international NGOs from 20 countries including 18 Arab countries, urge the LAS to call on the UN Security Council to demand access to Syria for the UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Houla massacre and other grave human rights violations, to impose an arms embargo on Syria and targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for grave violations, and to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court to ensure accountability for crimes against humanity.
Since the Syrian government met the peaceful protests that began in Syria in March 2011 with brutal repression, the LAS has worked to bring an end to the Syrian crisis.
Given the Syrian government’s failure to meet its commitments under Kofi Annan’s plan, we call on the LAS to carry out and monitor the implementation of the targeted sanctions against the Syrian leadership it agreed to in November 2011 but has yet to outline in any detail. LAS member states should specifically call on Russia to stop blocking UN Security Council action on Syria and stop arming the Assad government. They should also inform Russia that they will refrain from signing new contracts with Rosoboronexport, the Russian state-owned arms trading company, as long as the Russian arms transfers to Syria continue.
As recently noted by Kofi Annan himself, “the six point plan is not being implemented as it must be.” According to the Violations Documentation Center (VDC), a Syrian monitoring group, the Syrian army and security forces continue their military attacks on towns and at least 2,800 civilians have been killed since the government committed to the plan on March 25.
Further, despite the Syrian government’s commitment under the plan to “intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities” and to “respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed,” it continues to arbitrarily detain persons and to arrest peaceful protesters and activists including humanitarian assistance providers. According to the VDC, security forces have detained at least 1,900 people since March 25.
The Arab League should take strong and Unified action on Syria Now…