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Debating Amnesty About Syria and Double Standards
by Joe Emersberger
I sent the following note to Amnesty on June 16 after it put out a detailed report on the conflict in Syria:
In your most recent report on Syria you ask the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo on the Syrian government. You ask for no such arms embargo on the Syrian rebels and only ask that the Security Council "request" of states who supply the rebels that they put "mechanisms" in place to prevent the arms from being used to violate human rights: <www.amnestyus...rce=W1206EDMNAP>.
In 2009, you asked for the Security Council to "to impose an immediate, comprehensive arms embargo on all parties to the conflict in Gaza" (my emphasis): <www.amnesty.o...mounts-20090115>.
Please explain why you think arming Palestinians is harmful to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Gaza, while apparently believing that arming rebels in Syria is benign or perhaps even helpful.
Would you trust the Assad regime to arms rebels in foreign countries in such a way as prevent human rights abuses? What is it about the track record of the Saudi state or the US government that makes Amnesty believe that they would ever attempt to arm the Syrian rebels in such a way as to prevent human rights abuses -- assuming such a feat is even possible?
I've rarely received replies to the numerous notes I've sent Amnesty over the years. I was surprised to see this one on July 4: