Syria Condemned for Crimes Against Humanity
As the Battle for Aleppo rages on in northern Syria, Amnesty International has said that the Assad regime is responsible for mass human rights violations amounting to crimes against humanity. In a report released Wednesday, Amnesty claimed that security forces and government-backed shabiha militia “routinely” used live fire against peaceful protests in Aleppo, killing and injuring protesters and bystanders, including children. The report added, “The Syrian authorities have gone to great lengths to shield themselves from scrutiny; notably they have denied or greatly restricted access to the country to international media and human rights organisations. However, even the most stringent restrictions can no longer obscure the gravity of the human rights situation, which has continued to deteriorate for many months.”
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch claims that the Jordanian government is clamping down on civil society in the kingdom. Tamkeen, a Jordanian legal assistance group, has been denied permission to accept foreign funding, without any explanation from the government. Since 2009 Jordan’s cabinet has had the right to review foreign funding of NGOs, but this is the first denial of funds that has come to Human Rights Watch’s attention.
Finally, activists say that the United Arab Emirates has detained nine additional “Islamists” in the last two days, bringing the total number of activists arrested since July 15 to 35 persons. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch spoke out against the arrests, describing them as “deeply disturbing” and urging a western response to the U.A.E.’s “draconian” treatment of the opposition.