Durbin Voices Concerns Over Continued Violence in Syria
Letter to UN Ambassador Rice Urges Continued Pressure on Syrian Regime
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Majority Leader, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to UN Ambassador Susan Rice today, urging continued US pressure on the Syrian regime in the face of continued violence and serious human rights concerns. Durbin also asked Ambassador Rice to push the UN Security Council to further investigate reports of murder, torture, summary executions and disappearances and refer credible allegations of crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court. Senators Cardin, Menendez and Boxer also joined Durbin on today’s letter.
“We write to express our deepening concern for the situation in Syria where government-led violence against peaceful protesters continues to escalate,” the Senators wrote. “The United Nations now estimates that more than 3,000 Syrians, including almost 200 children, have been killed since the popular protests began in March. Given the Syrian government’s brutal and well documented crackdown, including the use of rooftop snipers, shelling of residential neighborhoods, disappearances, and torture, it is paramount that the Security Council refers credible allegations of crimes against humanity by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to the International Criminal Court. The people of Syria deserve to know that the people of the United States understand their plight, stand behind them, and will work to bring justice to their country.”
Durbin has been urging increased pressure against Syria behind the scenes for weeks, speaking to US Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, the European Union’s Ambassador to the US, Vale de Almeida and the Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao about the situation on the ground and international efforts to isolate the Syrian regime. Just yesterday, Ambassador Ford was forced to return to the United States because of credible threats to his safety. Durbin also has signed on to Senator Menendez’s bill to further tighten sanctions against Syria in light of the continued violence.
Durbin is the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.
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