2-17-2012By Crimes Against Humanity Program
Human Rights First
The Enablers. That’s the title of a strong New York Times editorial denouncing China’s and Russia’s continued support for Syria’s repressive regime.
In the two weeks since these countries vetoed the U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a peaceful transfer of power, violence against the Syrian people has escalated. While an approved resolution may not have prompted definitive action, it would have sent a powerful message.
But there are indications that criticism from the United States, Saudi Arabia, and countless human rights organizations have China rethinking its position: “What is most urgent and pressing now is to prevent war and chaos so that the Syrian people can be free from even greater suffering,” Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China said this week.
Russia, on the other hand, has shown no regret as it continues to enable violence in Syria by providing the Assad regime both political cover and weapons. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice called Russia’s obstructionism outrageous, adding that “…it was even more outrageous that they would do so at a time when Assad was stepping up the killing in such a horrific way.”
We urge the Obama administration to continue to pressure enablers using the full range of financial sanctions. It should start by targeting Russian arms dealers. We’ve sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner urging him to do just that.