Assyrian Human Rights Network Statement on the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Today, countries and people all over the world observe the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was issued in 1948 in the aftermath of World War II in order to establish international peace and security, and respect for the rights of individuals and peoples of the world.
This year, the Human Rights Day coincides with widespread and blatant violations of human rights on the one hand, and the increase in criticism against mechanisms and procedures used by regimes and groups which violate human rights on the other hand. As a result, there are two negative outcomes, the first is paralyzing the work of human rights organizations and questioning their effectiveness, and the second is encouraging perpetrators to commit further violations as they ascertain that they will not be held accountable and punished.
Keeping these facts in mind, and for nearly two years and despite their diligence, Syrian human rights organization have not succeeded in convincing nations with influence in the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council of the need to move immediately and urgently to stop the killing, intimidation, detention, torture, displacement, rape, and use of excessive violence and other abuses by the Syrian regime against its unarmed citizens. This is the result of the position that some countries have taken in both councils, which raises questions about the feasibility of continuing to work according to the mechanisms in place to ensure trial of perpetrators before the International Criminal Court and establishing international peace and security.
The Assyrian Human Rights Network calls upon international human rights organizations to cooperate in order to find more effective methods and tools to hold violators of human rights accountable. At the same time, the Network expresses its deep concern of the possibility that the Syrian regime will exploit the international community’s failure in its human rights duties to commit more atrocities, especially the possibility of using chemical weapons against the people, according to information leaked by commanders within the regime itself. The talk about using chemical weapons is either a last resort move by the regime to preserve its existence or the regime’s is threatening to use them as a bargaining to improve the conditions of negotiations with international powers to ensure impunity of the head of the regime and those close to him. In either case, we believe that the pillars of the Syrian regime, lead by its leader Bashar Al-Assad, now pose a real threat to the security of Syria and the citizens, and have become a major security threat to regional and international peace.
Accordingly, the Assyrian Human Rights Network calls upon the international community to take immediate action to stop this serious deterioration of the situation in Syria and the region, and arrest the Syrian president who is leading a regime that is pushing the region into a regional war on the one hand, and trying to push Syrians to fight among themselves on the other hand. The regime is doing this by opening border crossings for extremist forces, some of which are linked to Al-Qaeda, to enter Syria to confirm the regime’s allegations about the presence of armed gangs. All of this is in order to justify the violence of the military operations lead by Assad against Syrian civilians and using all types of weapons, which may soon also include chemical weapons.
Finally, and on the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we salute Syrian activists who are defending human rights, especially those of them who are detained in the regime’s prisons, and to all human rights activists who are detained in the prisons of oppressive regimes all over the world.
Let us work together for a world of freedom, peace, dialogue, and respect for human rights.
Assyrian Human Rights Network
Stockholm, Sweden
10 December 2012