In Syria, dozens of residents trapped beneath rubble as UN condemns ‘atrocities’ of Assad regime
- Year: 2012
- Length: 7:13 minutes (6.61 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Syria’s security forces continued attacks on the country’s cities today, with rockets slamming into neighborhoods and activists reporting killings in Aleppo, Idlib, Daraa and elsewhere. A video posted on Youtube shows smoke rising from densely packed houses as the sound of rockets crash nearby. Activists identified it as coming from the Bab Amr neighborhood of Homs, where security forces have been shelling for 25 days. The Red Cross, which so far has been blocked from bringing medical supplies or evacuating the injured, calls the situation a humanitarian crisis and said on Monday conditions are deteriorating hour by hour. Syrian activists were also killed while helping bring Western journalists to safety. According to Avaaz, which helped coordinate the rescue, journalist Paul Conroy, wounded last week in shelling attacks on Homs, has reached safety in Lebanon. As we go to broadcast, other wounded journalists, Edith Bouvier and William Daniels of France and Javier Espinosa from Spain remained “unaccounted for.” Avaaz reports that 35 Syrians have been working on the rescue day and night; more than a dozen of them have been killed in the process. Also today, anti-Assad protests took place in Hama. A video posted by Activist News Association, a group based in Cairo, shows crowds chanting and waving banners. As the death toll mounts, action taken by the international community has so far failed to stop the killing. Today in Geneva the UN’s Human Rights Council met to address the crisis in Syria. Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and said a UN investigation showed that Syria’s regime had committed “crimes against humanity” during its crackdown on the pro-democracy opposition that began nearly a year ago. Speaking in Geneva, Paulo Sacadura Cabral Portas, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs of Portugal spoke on behalf of the EU. “The EU repeats its calls on President Assad to end immediately the killing of civilians, withdraw the Syrian army from besieged towns and cities and step aside in order to make room for a peaceful transition for the sake of the country.” Some countries, including France, have encouraged the Council to prepare a complaint against Syria’s regime in the International Criminal Court at the Hague. But Russia’s representative said that efforts to “instill democracy through force are doomed to disaster” and warned of a civil war. And Syria’s representative of the Assad regime walked out of the UN meeting, saying countries were “inciting sectarianism and providing arms" to the opposition. The Local Coordination Committees, a group of activists within Syria, has been monitoring the situation. Rafif Joejate, spokesperson for the group in Washington DC, told FSRN that the reports of killings and residents caught under rubble are still coming in. That’s Rafif Joejate, spokesperson for the Local Coordination Committees, speaking to us from Washington DC. According to the Guardian, Tunisia’s president has offered asylum to Bashar al Assad and his associates in a bid to end the conflict through negotiations. But it’s unclear what kind of support such a proposal has. Testifying before a Senate committee hearing, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Assad could be called a war criminal.