The decision by Russia and China to veto a weak draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria, the day after the Syrian army launched a major assault on residential areas of Homs leaving scores dead, is a shockingly callous betrayal of the people of Syria, Amnesty International said today.
"This is a completely irresponsible use of the veto by Russia and China," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary-General.
"It is staggering that they have blocked the passage of what was already a very weak draft resolution."
"After a night in which the whole world watched the people of Homs suffering, the actions of these members are particularly shocking."
Apart from a presidential statement issued in August 2011 condemning human rights violations, the Security Council has not acted on the crisis in Syria since the uprising began in March 2011.
Amnesty International said it would continue to press members of the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, impose a comprehensive arms embargo on the country and implement an assets freeze on Bashar al-Assad and other top officials.