Don't sit and watch Syria implode: HRW to IBSA
Johannesburg: Ahead of a summit meeting of
the tri-nation IBSA grouping, international rights group HRW
on Sunday said the three nations should not "sit by and watch"
Syria implode and should rather use their forum to forcefully
demand an end to crackdown on anti-regime protesters.
The Human Rights Watch resented in a statement issued here
that India, Brazil, and South Africa are not leveraging their
rising global influence to help stop the bloodshed in Syria.
The two-nation IBSA meeting begins in Pretoria tomorrow
and will see Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brazilian
President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob
Zuma come together.
Earlier in August, representatives of the three countries,
who are also presently non-permanent members of the UN
Security Council, went to Syria and met the leadership.
At a recent vote on a UN Security Council resolution,
which threatened sanctions against Syria, India, Brazil and
South Africa had abstained from voting.
"IBSA leaders shouldn't sit by and watch as Syria
implodes," said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at
Human Rights Watch.
"Their efforts at private dialogue have achieved nothing,
and hundreds more Syrians have died in the meantime," he said.
According to figures compiled by the UN, more than 3,000
people, including at least 187 children, have been killed in a
crackdown since March in Syria where protests are continuing
against the regime of Bashar Al Assad.
Leaders of the three countries should use their forum
meeting "to categorically demand that the Syrian government
end its widespread and systematic attacks on antigovernment
protesters and activists," HRW said, pointing out that it had
documented systematic, widespread, and gross violations of
human rights by the Syrian government, amounting to crimes
It also pointed out that on the eve of the IBSA summit,
the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has
confirmed her office's finding of "credible allegations of
crimes against humanity in Syria".
"By abstaining, India, Brazil, and South Africa have
failed the Syrian people and emboldened the Syrian government
in its path of violence against them," Houry said, referring
to the UNSC vote on the Syrian crisis.
The resolution drafted by European countries and supported
by the US was blocked by vetoes from Russia and China.
"The IBSA countries should not be the last to wake up to
the severity of the crisis facing Syrian people," Houry said.