Asma al-Assad, Syrian First Lady
Since March 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government has overseen a brutal crackdown on dissent that has left more than 6,000 people dead, including more than 200 women and girls. Thousands have been arrested, with many held incommunicado for long periods at unknown locations where torture and other ill-treatment are reported to be rife. Amnesty International believes these violations amount to crimes against humanity.
Some women human rights defenders – who have been at the forefront of the peaceful calls for reform – have been forced into hiding, and some have even fled the country.
The Syrian First Lady, Asma al-Assad has repeatedly and publicly portrayed herself as a self-proclaimed champion of women’s and children’s rights; however, in recent months she has done very little to speak out against the brutalities committed by the Syrian government forces. On the contrary, she has even appeared publicly in support of her husband.
It is time to remind Asma al-Assad that human rights are universal and urge her to use her influence for Syrian women human rights defenders who work to protect the future for all Syrians.
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