Jordanian activists speak of ‘genocide’ in Syria
Jordan, Syria's neighbor is feeling the repercussions of violence and unrest in Syria keenly. The Syrian embassy in Amman has had a continuous showing of protestors these last months.
Jordan-based human rights groups and political activists on Wednesday described the ongoing crackdown on Syrian protesters as “genocide”, urging international organisations to seek immediate halt of “mass killings” in Syria.
The Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR), Jordan Association to Support the Syrian People, the Islamic Action Front’s (IAF) human rights committee, the National Committee to Defend Jordanian Detainees (NCDJD) and Jordan Youth to Protect Syria held a press conference yesterday to announce the first report on human rights violations in Syria.
They all agreed that Syrian people face excessive use of force by the Syrian authorities, which according to Hani Dahleh, head of the AOHR, “can be classified as genocide”.
The five organisations called on the International Criminal Court to keep track of all the violations against human rights in Syria to be used for future legal action.
In the report, the Jordanian activists urged also the army commanders and the security forces in Syria to disobey orders to kill and torture their fellow Syrians.
During yesterday’s press conference, the activists screened a video showing samples of the ongoing killing and torturing of Syrian people at the hands of the army, security forces and the locally called “shabbiha”, or thugs affiliated with the different branches of Syrian security agencies.
The organisations plan to pursue their efforts through several activities in the next coming days, according to Zuhair Abu Ragheb, head of the IAF’s human rights committee.
Such activities will include sit-ins near the Syrian embassy in Amman and embassies of countries whose governments support the Syrian authorities, including Russia, said Ali Abul Sukkar, president of the IAF shura council.
Meanwhile, the founder and president of the NCDJD, Abdul Kareem Shreideh, expressed concerns over the fate of Jordanian detainees in Syrian prisons.
“We have 253 Jordanian prisoners in Syria and we have no idea about their fate,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Abul Sukkar said that although there are no official figures yet, almost 250 Syrian families fled Syria to Jordan. They are living in the northern cities of Mafraq and Ramtha, he said.
Officials have acknowledged that Syrians, including defecting military personnel, have fled to Jordan, without giving estimates.
Abul Sukkar urged the government to facilitate aid to these families.
By Khaled Neimat