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Dublin: 17 °C Monday 22 September, 2014

Syrians appeal to Irish government as explosion strikes Damascus

Call for Irish government to refer Syrian regime to the International Criminal Court.

Anti-Syrian regime protesters outside the Dáil today.
Anti-Syrian regime protesters outside the Dáil today.

A GROUP OF SYRIANS living in Ireland has called on the Irish government to refer the Syrian regime to the International Criminal Court in an effort to end ongoing violence against civilians.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Fadi Alkrdi said people can’t “simply stand by” and allow human rights violations to happen.

“We have seen in the past what happens to innocent civilians when dictators are appeased,” he said.

“Ireland has always been a voice for human rights in international matters and is seeking a place on the UN Human Rights Committee. Ireland has similarly supported the establishment of the International Criminal Corut and it is now time to support it in doing its job.”

He said the group believes that a referral to the ICC could “have a real effect on the behaviour of the regime today” and that they met today with members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this afternoon, Dr Abu Banan said that the amount of abuse from government forces against civilians is extreme. “Even animals couldn’t do what we’re seeing in Syria,” he said.

Increasing lawlessness is facilitating attacks and violence being inflicted on civilians, Banan said. Security forces and militants fighting in the government’s name are reportedly killing and raping civilians without impunity: “If someone wants to kill, he can do that, if someone wants to rape, he can do that if he is fighting [with the security forces],” he said.

Explosion

At least five people have been killed in an explosion in the Syrian capital Damascus today, according to state-run media.

Syrian authorities said a police station was struck, but the AP reports that images from the scene appear to show that a restaurant was the scene of the explosion.

Yesterday, UN Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous visited Homs yesterday to review the progress of the observer mission.

Ladsous noted that violence had reduced in the city since the observer team’s deployment, but said that “there is a need to establish bridges to help solve the practical functions of everyday life and gradually establish [a] degree of confidence between the government and opposition”.

““It requires taking steps to build confidence” after conflict, Ladsous in a meeting with the governor of Homs. “Authorising peaceful demonstrations and releasing detainees would go some way towards consolidating confidence, which so far has been lacking, so that the political process can get started and can gain traction.”

The head of the observer mission Maj Gen Robert Mood said there were encouraging signs of increased interest in dialogue by both sides in the conflict, while Ladsous said that parties involved need to commit to peace:

“There has been enough killing, destruction and arrests in Syria. We all need to work together to
stop this. This will only be done when all Syrian parties commit to end violence and to start a political dialogue.”

- Additional reporting by the AP

Bruton: Irish software in Syria is not designed to suppress democracy >

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