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CPD Salutes Syria's Courageous Democratic Movement

Statement by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy
June 9, 2011

CPD Salutes Syria's Courageous Democratic Movement

The Campaign for Peace and Democracy expresses its deep admiration for the amazing courage shown by the people of Syria, struggling for democratic reforms in the face of horrific repression. Though they have been subjected to lethal force time and again, unarmed demonstrators have repeatedly taken to the streets.

Syria has been under brutal authoritarian rule for decades, and many Syrians, and others, had hoped that Bashar al-Assad would move to democratize the system. However, the past three months have shown that Assad is determined to maintain his dictatorial grip on power no matter what the cost in Syrian lives.

Despite the attempt by authorities in Damascus to prevent information from getting out, enough has been documented to show the criminal behavior of the regime.

Amnesty International has evidence of 120 people killed this past weekend alone and "has the names of 986 people reported to have been killed by the Syrian security forces during the past 11 weeks. Thousands have been arrested, with many held of them held incommunicado."[AI, "UN urged to act following deadly weekend in Syria," June 6, 2011.]

Human Rights Watch has reported: "Since the beginning of anti-government protests in March 2011, Syrian security forces have killed hundreds of protesters and arbitrarily arrested thousands, subjecting many of them to brutal torture in detention¼.The nature and scale of abuses, which Human Rights Watch research indicates were not only systematic, but implemented as part of a state policy, strongly suggest these abuses qualify as crimes against humanity." [HRW, " 'We've Never Seen Such Horror,' " June 1, 2011.]

Among its more cynical pretenses to legitimacy, the Assad regime claims to protect the rights of ethnic and religious minorities. In response, opposition forces meeting in Antalya, Turkey, have affirmed that the Syrian people are of many ethnicities, and called for "the legitimate and equal rights of all under a new Syrian constitution based on national unity, civil state and a pluralistic, parliamentary, and democratic regime." [Text.]

We stand with the people of Syria in their remarkable struggle for democracy.