Note: This article is not written by the Irish Anti-War Movement and the views in it do not necessarily represent the Irish Anti-War Movement we do however agree that any and all pressure must be used to stop hospitals being used in this way.
Syrian death squads are killing protesters in their hospital beds, whilst Russia arms the regime and blocks international action to end the carnage. But pressure is building in the region, and if enough of us speak out now, we could persuade Turkey and Germany to use their leverage to get Russia to stop propping up this murderous regime. Join me, sign the urgent petition and tell everyone:
I can't get this image out of my mind. A young Syrian protester entering the hospital with a leg injury and leaving with a bullet in his head. His family, weeping, described how the regime returned his body to them and added, "There's no safe place left in Syria – not even hospitals."
For six months, I've spoken to survivors of torture and rape, and I've mourned some of my own close friends, who were peaceful human rights activists. But right now pressure is mounting in the region, and there is something we can all do to end the carnage and stop these horror hospitals: urgently persuade Syria's key backer and arms supplier, Russia, to stop blocking global action.
So far, no one has held Russia to account for supplying weapons for these atrocities, but if you join me now, we can change that -- German Chancellor Merkel and Turkish President Erdogan both wield great influence in Russia and support the Syrian democracy movement. Together let's call on them to act with the Arab League and press Russia to stop blocking UN action on Syria. Sign the urgent petition to Germany and Turkey -- and I'll deliver it to the two Foreign Ministries this week:
At least 5,500 people have been killed in Syria, as many as in the entire Kosovo war. According to hospital staff and witnesses that Avaaz has spoken to, Syrian security forces have been using hospitals and Red Crescent vehicles to arrest, kill and torture dozens of pro-democracy protesters and detain doctors, blatantly defying international law.
Shamefully, two weeks ago, Russia led the United Nations Security Council in blocking global action to stop the Syrian regime's slaughter of innocents. And, at the same time, delivered high-powered weapons to the butchers.
But, right now, the pressure on Assad is mounting -- economic sanctions have left his army under-resourced and exhausted, and the Arab League has given him two weeks to meet with the recognized opposition leaders. Now, there are two key countries that could tip the balance away from the bloodshed: Turkey, Syria's neighbour and emerging regional power, and Germany, which is Russia's second-largest trading partner and traditional intermediary to Russia.
Both Turkey and Germany are sensitive to global opinion and are emerging as champions for the Syrian pro-democracy movement. A strong push from all of us could get them to pressure Russia to stop propping up the regime. Sign the petition now -- I will deliver it to the Turkish and German Foreign Ministers this week:
While some governments are despairing about what to do, Avaaz members are making a real difference in Syria. We've helped push through tough oil sanctions that fund Assad's crackdown. We've broken the media blackout and worked tirelessly to document disappearances and other crimes, dismantling the regime's lies. Let's keep the flame of hope burning brightly and light the way to a peaceful, democratic Syria.
Wissam Tarif and the whole Avaaz team
Russia UN veto and financial relationships with Syria (New York Times)
Europeans spar with Russia, China on Syria at UN (Reuters):
Turkey Steadfast on Syria Sanctions (Al Jazeera):
Syria Keeps Pressure On Protesters, Ignores Critics (National Public Radio):
Arab League sets timetable for national dialogue (VOA)
Turkey, Russia eye increased cooperation in business, trade (Today´s Zaman)
Germany Russia's second largest trading partner (German Foreign Ministry website, in German):