Jurists urge UN to take urgent measures on Syria

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A global grouping of jurists urged the UN Security Council on Saturday to take urgent measures to ensure the safety of civilians facing a bloody crackdown on an uprising in Syria.

"The international community has failed so far to protect the people of Syria from wide-scale human rights violations," International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) secretary general Wilder Tayler said in a statement.

"The UN Security Council should, as a matter of urgency, consider options to ensure the immediate protection of the population in Syria," he said, also calling for "establishing accountability for the perpetrators and justice for victims."

The network of judges and lawyers also urged Syria to end attacks against demonstrators, release jailed protesters and allow human rights organisations access to the country.

"They (Syrian authorities) must respect the right to life and the freedoms of assembly and expression," said the statement.

"Those ordering and carrying out these attacks, including those firing live rounds into crowds, must be held criminally accountable."

More than 80 people were believed killed by Syrian security forces cracking down on thousands of anti-regime protesters demonstrating around the country on Friday.

The ICJ said more than 330 people have reportedly been killed since March 15.

© 2011 AFP

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