Joint Statement to the Human Rights Council 19th Regular session (27 February-23 March 2012) Under Item 6- Universal Periodic Review of Syria

Submitted by the ANND, CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation and Center for Economic and Social Rights


The use of military action is intensifying in Syria, a year after the outbreak of the popular uprisings to demand freedom and democracy, social justice and more rights at all levels of political, economic and social development. Syrian authorities have the obligation to protect, respect and fulfill the human rights of the Syrian people and are accountable for the deterioration of the situation because of continuous reliance on security solutions and undertaking military actions with excessive use of force and repression.
As a result, the number of people killed so far has reached more than 7.000, mostly civilians including hundreds of children, women and elderly. This is in addition to the thousands of political prisoners, missing and displaced persons.
Furthermore, Syrian authorities have failed thus far to take any serious steps towards the implementation of political reforms demanded by the people, except for assigning a committee to propose constitutional amendments and propose laws for political parties, associations and for the elections. These steps did not reflect the seriousness in responding to the quest for reform and political openness. Syrian authorities have not taken any steps neither to reform social and economic policies in line with international human rights standards and in accordance with the recommendations accepted during the human rights records revision of Syria during the Universal Periodic Review session (October 7th 2010).
The internal situation in Syria has reached a stage of severe complexity, whereby the provision of solutions is difficult. The proper and sustainable approach must be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which can only be pursued through democratic and transparent political process that reflects the choices of citizens.
In this context, we call on the Human Rights Council to urge Syrian authorities to:
• Immediately cease of use of force and repression in all forms and release of political prisoners
• Take the proper measures to launch the political process and democraticmechanisms leading to human rights protection, and maintenance of the cessation of military and security actions
• Take immediate measures to allow for safe areas for operation of humanitarian agencies that can secure needed support to medical personnel, neededequipment and medicines required to treat the injured.
• Respect human rights and carry out immediate and serious steps to implement the outcome recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review and other UNtreaty bodies
• Adopt a clear road map leading to the promotion of democratic governance and respect for human rights in Syria.
• Reform economic and social development policies and laws so as to ensure the economic and social rights of the Syrian citizen.
We also call on international community, including regional and international organizations, in particular the League of Arab States and United Nations Councils,including the Security Council and Human Rights Council, to:
• Undertake all peaceful means seeking immediate and peaceful solutions that provide the necessary and sufficient protection for the Syrian people andrespect international human rights and democratic standards and principles.
• Give immediate and adequate attention to the humanitarian situation of Syrian Refugees in neighbouring countries and take immediate measures to enhancethe adequacy and availability of needed resources and capacities of humanitarian agencies to intervene.