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BREAKING: UN Votes to Condemn Regime of Bashar al-Assad

BREAKING: UN Votes to Condemn Regime of Bashar al-Assad

This Thursday afternoon, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condem the regime of President Bashar al-Assad’s violent crackdown on the 11-month uprising and to adopt an Arab League resolution to end the bloody conflict. The resolution was introduced by Egypt’s ambsassador, Maged Abdelaziz, who said that ”We demand that the Syrian government heed the demands of the Arab and Syrian people and staunch the bloodshed.”

While the 137-12 vote, with 17 abstentions, is — unlike an earlier UN Security Council resolution that was vetoed by Russia and China — a “nonbinding action with no power of enforcement at the world body,” it is nonetheless a “significant humiliation” for Assad. The resolution also requires that Assad step down and transfer power to a vice president.

Bashar Jafari, Syria’s ambassador to the UN, said that the resolution was “biased” and that it “has nothing to do with events in Syria.” As expected, Russia and China both voted against the resolution; Venezuela also did, saying that it denied Syria of its sovereignty.

Earlier on Thursday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had said that crimes against humanity “might be taking place” in Syria and called on Assad’s regime to cease killing citizens. 63 people have been reported killed today, with at least four in the southern city of Dara’a, where the uprising began in mid-March of last year, as well as in Homs, Hama and on the Iraqi and Lebanese borders. The Local Coordination Committees, a Syrian activist group, also said that Mazen Darwish, an activist and journalist who is the director of the Syrian Center for Media and Free Expression, was arrested along with several others, and that his office was raided. Prominent pro-democracy blogger Razan Ghazzawi is also reported to have been arrested.

China had said earlier on Thursday that it is sending Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Jun to Damascus on Friday to negotiate a “peaceful and proper” solution.  Zhai had met with a Syrian opposition delegation last week in Beijing; it is not clear if he will meet with the opposition on his upcoming visit.

Previous Care2 Coverage

After 11 Months of Violence, Syria Proposes a New Constitution

Syrian Tragedy, UN Deadlock and Restoring US Global Leadership

Tanks Surround Homs; Two Bombs Shake Aleppo

 

 

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Photo of a solidarity demonstration in Montreal by M A (Solidarity demonstration March 27) via Wikimedia Commons

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35 comments

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4:56AM PST on Feb 19, 2012

While Assad's father, who took control in a bloodless Ba'athist coup, established a repressive dictatorship with a large secret police & political repression, he did make a more secular government from the previous Sunni Islamic one, brought stability & introduced social reforms. Previously the constitution said Syria was a Sunni Muslim state & only Sunni Muslims could rule. Assad corrected that.

It would be hard to call the Assad dictatorship a 'legitimate government' since they were never elected & took power thru a coup, but under his father's secularization women gained more rights, & the religious minorities (approx. 24%) - Druze, Alawites (of which the Assad's are members - descendants of the ancient Cult of Angels religion pretend to be Muslims which has helped them survive so long) & Christians - fear a Sunni takeover & the repression & ethnic cleansing that would most likely bring, as it has in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been actively trying to overthrow the Assads & establish an Islamist government (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafez_al-Assad) & were responsible for a string of assassinations of Alawites & Ba'athists & spurred the revolt in Hama in 1982 that led to the infamous repression.

Be careful what you wish for & remember Tunisia, Libya & Egypt - all now with Islamist Sharia law governments.

4:21AM PST on Feb 19, 2012

Thanks for the article.

1:59AM PST on Feb 19, 2012

Well, Patricia M, the Beeb, al-Jazeera and Sky News all reported that the people in Homs were lighting tyres on their roofs to make it look as if there had been strikes by rockets.

1:54AM PST on Feb 19, 2012

At a risk of straying from the subject I thought I would mention that one of our regular commentators might be in serious trouble with the pillow feathers again gumming up the works and causing his brain-box to only fire on 2 or 3 cylinders. Our friend claims that Uganda is a "Christian" country and so is Libya. According to the UN Uganda has 84% Christian and 12% Muslim and Libya has 97% Muslim and just 2.4% Christian. The Constitution of Uganda may say a lot about human rights but nowhere does it refer to Christianity as the state religion of Uganda. However, the 2011 Constitution of Libya says clearly and unequivocally “ARTICLE (5) Islam is the religion of the State.” All these documents referenced are freely available in the public domain.

12:58AM PST on Feb 19, 2012

Countries like Syria, Libya and Egypt -might change their leaders - but the ones who inherit are no better and nothing changes.

11:50PM PST on Feb 18, 2012

The Syrian government is a disaster.

UN condemnation won't do much for the people of Syria, but would a proxy war serve them any better?

11:31PM PST on Feb 18, 2012

John D.

Poor John D.

Give us some examples of "truth" as reported by mainstream media.

"Poor Stan B.

I am one of many who see the clear truth, admitted and reported on now by mainstream media, that the armed insurrection against the legitimate government of peace loving Syria is financed, supplied, directed and controlled from outside."

11:26PM PST on Feb 18, 2012

Right! The UN, of course, being such an important, powerful organization......

They're SUCH a disapointment. How long has it been since they actually STOOD UP for something, instead of wimping about?

9:43PM PST on Feb 18, 2012

UN the 'Zionist entity'?? I didn't know all those Muslims and Islamic countries were secret Zionists. Very interesting concept.

7:02PM PST on Feb 18, 2012

You are ON YOUR OWN here John D. You can fool some of the people some of the time...........................

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