China and Russia Veto Security Council Draft Resolution on Syrian Protesters Crackdown

Stop Fundamentalism – A strong condemnation on the Crackdown on Syrian pro-democracy protesters by the government of Bashar Al-Assad in the United Nations Security Council has been voted down by Russia and China today, reports the UN New Center.

Over 2700 people have been killed since the break out of popular protests in Syria in March and many have been detained and tortured in jails by the government authorities in that country in an attempt to clampdown on the protests.

Recent fallouts of the Syrian army have been forming armed groups to resist against military forces of Bashar Assad as a development that could raise the protests into a nationwide armed conflict for freedom.

Syrian opposition groups have joined to form a united front called the Syrian National Council (SNC).  The Unity brings the chance of a replacement for the Assad government one step closer and may help the Syrian protests to follow the Arab Spring revolutions.

The draft voiced deep concern and strongly condemned the violence and the systematic violation of human rights and the use of force against civilians in Syria.

9 out of 15 members of the council voted in favor of the draft.  The permanent members of the Security Council China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States have veto power in the council.

Amnesty International in a statement released today called the vote-down to be a “shocking betrayal’ failing the Syrian people.  It said the vetoing countries have failed their responsibilities to protect the people of Syria.

“It is shocking that after more than six months of horrific bloodshed on the streets and in the detention centers of Syria, the governments of both Russia and China still felt able to veto what was already a seriously watered down resolution,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director.

Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN Security Council expressed outrage and said the vetoing countries will have to answer to the Syrian people.

The French Ambassador Gérard Araud expressed his countries disappointment and said that the opponents of the draft acted against the spirit of the Arab Spring movement.

China and Russia rarely use their veto power at the council.  But a joint expression of the two against a resolution is a unique incident.

After the vote the Russian Ambassador to the Security Council said that while his country did not support the Bashar Assad’s regime, but believed the resolution would not provide for a peaceful change in that country.

The Chinese Ambassador also expressed concern about the situation in Syria but said the draft resolution if passed would have complicated the situation.  He believed sanctions and pressure on the government would not solve the situation.

More interestingly was the remarks by the Syrian Ambassador to the UN Security Council Bashar Ja’afari who said in his speech at the council meeting, “the draft resolution reflected a biased attempt of some western countries to undermine his country’s authorities.”