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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 3 Hansard (20 March) . . Page.. 960..


Amnesty is also calling on Syrian authorities to allow humanitarian agencies immediate and unhindered access to affected areas, including Homs, Syria's third largest city, where over 600 people have died.

Amnesty condemns the actions of the Syrian president, who, since his succession to power in 2000, has seen a resurgence in certain patterns and methods of torture and other ill treatments that were once on the decline. Amnesty urges that the names of those responsible for these abuses and terror be brought forward and that the "United Nations Security Council refer President Assad to the International Criminal Court for crime against humanity; freeze his assets and those of his senior associates and impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Syria".

I urge the people of Canberra, and indeed all of Australia, to stand firm with Amnesty International, to condemn the civil rights abuses and the use of terror in Syria. I call on our community to echo the voices of opposition to the Syrian regime in the strongest possible, yet legal, manner.

The Syrian community needs us. Shall we abandon them? I say no. I say offer help and assistance and use our international influence to rescue them from oppression and torture.

Syria

Clean Up Australia Day

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (6.10): I would also like to support the words of Dr Bourke to mark the one-year anniversary of the uprising in Syria and support the words from a motion put before the New South Wales parliament on the matter. I have been an Amnesty International member for, I think, about 20 years now and would encourage people to go their website. They have a petition to sign which condemns what is happening in Syria. I would encourage everybody to go and sign that because they have had a concerted campaign to get more support for that.

The words of the motion which was put before the New South Wales parliament, which the Greens support and which relates to joining the international condemnation of the ongoing bloodshed in Syria, ask that the House note:

(a) Amnesty International holds the names of over 6,500 dead and has collected first hand testimony of torture from Syrians fleeing the violence,

Then later it calls on:

(a) the Syrian authorities to allow humanitarian agencies immediate and unhindered access to Homs and all other affected areas,

(b) the United Nations Security Council to refer President Assad to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity,

(c) the United Nations Security Council to freeze President Assad's assets and those of [his senior associates] ... impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Syria ...


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