What is the UN Saying on Syria?

Sunjeev Bery on Sky News Arabia

Sunjeev Bery on Sky News Arabia

Yesterday, I joined the team at Sky News Arabia for a live discussion of the latest report on Syria by an independent UN panel. Special thanks to Sky News producer Arwa Sawan, reporter Joseph Khawly, and anchor Amer Abdel Aziz for giving Amnesty International USA an opportunity to share our analysis of the grave human rights situation.

The report (PDF) is a catalog of violence, suffering, and geopolitical developments, focusing on events between January 15th and May 15th of this year. It was produced by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011.


U.S. Arms Sales to Bahrain: 4 Questions for the Obama Administration

Bahraini anti-government protesters in Zinj Village, west of Manama, run for cover from tear gas on Dec. 23, 2011. ©AFP/Getty Images

As I wrote on Saturday, the Obama Administration has authorized a new U.S. arms sale to the Bahraini monarchy.  This comes just months after a Congressional and public outcry that led the administration to suspend a prior $53 million arms sale to Bahrain.

Members of Congress, journalists, and Amnesty International were all outraged over the last proposed arms sale.  That’s because Bahraini protesters continue to be tear gassed, beaten, and even killed while exercising their human rights of free speech and association – rights that include the freedom to criticize one’s government.

Regarding this new arms sale, here are the top four questions that the Obama administration must answer immediately: SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Human Rights in the Middle East: Why US Voices Matter

Five months ago, I joined the team at Amnesty International USA to advocate for human rights across the Middle East and North Africa.  Together with my colleagues in our Washington DC office, I work daily to push governments to stand up for core freedoms — or at least, to stop violating them.

From my perch in DC, I’m especially concerned about US foreign policy and how it impacts the lives of those across the Middle East and North Africa.  In a number of countries where protestors have been in the streets, the governments that have attacked them received guns, ammunition, and equipment from US sources.


How Many More Syrians Have To Die Before The UN Acts?

One of the many public actions mapped out on the Eyes on Syria map: Amnesty International Croatia demonstrated on July 20, 2011, in Zagreb to demanded an end to the bloodshed in Syria. © Amnesty International

Despite ongoing human rights violations, which we believe amount to crimes against humanity, the UN Security Council has shamefully failed the Syrian people so far. Several weeks ago, an already watered down resolution was vetoed by key members of the Security Council. Since this vote, the darkest hour of the Security Council in the context of the MENA uprisings, many more peaceful protesters were killed.

In recent weeks, we have also seen sporadic armed attacks by army defectors against government forces, raising the specter of a full blown civil war.