But let’s forget about all that for a minute and just turn our attention to Syria… I’m not a techy. Nor am I much of a pure-aesthetic’s kind of person — we’re all too busy at this point in today’s world for that… so I am going to do what my techy-friends consider “the unthinkable”. I’m going to copy and paste the content of an email into a blog. Yes it will look messy as all hell and contain tons of code that will fuck up all kinds of search engines. But honestly, compared to getting the word out, I really just couldn’t care. So see the below. And let me know what you think we should do about our brothers and sisters in Syria.
German Chancellor Merkel and Turkish President Erdogan both have strong inclinations to global leadership, and a great degree of influence in Russia. If we make a massive and public call to them to act, they will press Russian President Medvedev to stop blocking UN Security Council action on Syria.
Syria’s horror hospitals are the latest in a string of unspeakable crimes against peaceful protesters. So far, Russia has faced little condemnation for its complicity in these atrocities, but we can change that. Together let’s build a massive public call to Merkel and Erdogan to act and work with the Arab League to press Russian President to stop supporting Syria’s brutal repression — it will be delivered to their 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. Russia recently delivered high-powered weapons to the butchers and has given no sign it intends to stop.
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 enter negotiations with the opposition leadership. And there are two countries that can make a difference: Turkey, Syria’s neighbour and emerging regional power and Germany, who is Russia’s second-largest trading partner and traditional intermediary to Russia.
Both Turkey and Germany are sensitive to global opinion and vocally support the Syrian people — and a strong push from all of us could get them to pressure Russia to stop propping up the regime. Sign the petition now and forward widely — it will be delivered 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 funded Assad’s crackdown — Syrian activists have told Avaaz staff how crucial this support has been. 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, Stephanie, Sam, Ricken, Luis, Benjamin, Diego, Carol, Rewan and the whole Avaaz team
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 Discusses Suspension of Syria (Wall Street Journal):
Germany Russia’s second largest trading partner (German Foreign Ministry website, in German):
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