|Calling a halt to killings in Syria
- Sir, – Credible reports that Syrian security forces have murdered people who have had contact with UN monitors represent a challenge to all of us. The United Nations acts in our name. If silence represents complicity in the face of crimes against humanity, allowing the UN to be used to select people for summary execution makes us even more culpable, unless we take action to stop the killing.The UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, even before these most recent crimes, had called for the referral of the Assad regime to the International Criminal Court.In the light of the string of recent atrocities, that makes a mockery of efforts to secure peace in Syria, surely the Dáil and Seanad will demand such action in an urgent resolution, and request the Minister for Foreign Affairs to seek to lobby the Security Council to act.Thousands have died as tanks and artillery have indiscriminately shelled besieged cities and snipers have targeted peaceful protesters. But the most egregious aspect of the Assad regime’s response has been the callous and indiscriminate targeting of children.
Lois Whitman, children’s rights director at Human Rights Watch, has stated: “Syrian security forces have killed, arrested, and tortured children in their homes, their schools, or on the streets. In many cases, security forces have targeted children just as they have targeted adults.. It’s clear from the brutal methods used against children that Syrian security forces show child detainees no mercy . . . We fear that children will continue to face horrendous punishment in detention until Syrian officials understand they will pay a price for such abuse.”
If we fail to act, we may condemn thousands, including who knows how many children, to torture and death. The heart-rending memorial on April 6th in Sarajevo commemorating the outbreak of war, and which highlighted the deaths of more than 1,000 children in the indiscriminate slaughter of the siege, is a compelling reminder of how real that threat is in Syria. – Yours, etc,
RONAN TYNAN; RANA KABBANI (Syrian Writer Broadcaster); CHRISTINE MURRAY (Web Master – Irish Pen); VALERIE HUGHES; Dr BRONAGH CATIBUSIC; MIRZA CATIBUSIC; BRENDAN SIMMS, (Author, Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia); GERALDINE MITCHELL; MICHAEL McLOUGHLIN (International Sec., Labour Party); GARRET TANKOSIC-KELLY (Former UN Resident Representative); FARUK KLEPO; PETER WALSH; ELVEDINA DIZDAREVIC and JOHN FEIGHERY.
(from , The Irish Times , 28/04/2012)
The following two links are about Tal Al-Mallouhi and are related to campaigns by PEN International to raise awareness of her plight and her ongoing imprisonment..
Regular readers of this blog will know that I have mentioned Tal Al-Mallouhi in two posts recently. Tal is a poet imprisoned in Syria. I am adding a link to the PEN International appeal on her behalf, along with a link to her poem , You will remain an example .
I thought to edit one of these existent posts to include a letter published in today’s Irish Times (28/04/2012) which details the plight of those victims of the Assad regime , and the need for U.N intervention in increasing violences against the people of Syria.
You will remain an example
Poem is © Tal Al-Mallouhi , imprisoned in Syria, translated from the Arabic by Ghias Aljundi.
I will walk with all walking people
I will not stand still
Just to watch the passers by
This is my homeland
A palm tree
A drop in a cloud
And a grave to protect me
This is more beautiful
Than all cities of fog
And cities which
Do not recognise me
I would like to have power
Even for one day
To build the “republic of feelings”.
“The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International condemns the five year sentence handed down on 14 February 2011 to blogger, poet and high school student Tal Al-Mallouhi on the charge of “divulging information to a foreign state”. No evidence has been provided for the charge against her, and PEN International believes that Al-Mallouhi is sentenced for her online writings and poems. This violates right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Syria is a party. PEN calls for her immediate and unconditional release.”