At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

Call  for  UN HRC Special  Session  on  the  Human  Rights  Situation in Syria

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Human rights NGOs from all regions of the world express serious concerns over the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria since the country’s security forces started using live ammunition against protesters on 18 March 2011.The UN Human Rights Council must  pursue its mandate by responding to the grave on-going crisis by convening a special session as soon as  possible.


April 6, 2011

To: All Member States of the UN Human Rights Council

Call  for  United  Nations  Human  Rights  Council  Special  Session  on  the  Human  Rights  Situation  in  the Syrian Arab Republic



As Human Rights non‐governmental organizations from all regions of the world, we express our serious concerns over the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria since the country’s security forces started using live ammunition against protesters on 18 March 2011. We call on the UN Human Rights Council to pursue its mandate by responding to the grave on‐going crisis by convening a special session as soon as  possible.

Since  18  March  2011,  Syrian  security  forces  have  used  live  ammunition  to  silence  growing  protests, lmost entirely peaceful, calling for greater freedoms in the country. Scores of protesters – at least 100 have  been  killed,  apparently  by  live  ammunition  fired  by  the  security  forces,  in  Dera’a,  al-Sanamayn, Latakia, Duma and elsewhere. Under international law and applicable standards, lethal force may only be sed  when  strictly  unavoidable  in  order  to  protect  life.  The  violent  crackdown  over  Syria  should  be stopped immediately.

Security forces have also  detained a  number of journalists, activists, lawyers, and protestors who  have reported  on  the  protests  or  called  for  further  protests,  in  an  attempt  to  prevent  anyone  from documenting or criticizing the on‐going crackdown. Syrian human rights activists compiled a list of 326 individuals  who  have  been  detained  since  the  beginning  of  March  for  participating  or  calling  for demonstrations. While security forces released at least 131 of them, most remain held in incommunicado detention and without charge.

The  current  repression  in  Syria  is  taking  place  while  authorities  have  a  long  record  of  human  rights violations,  including  arbitrary  arrest  and  detention  of  human  rights  defenders  and  political  activists, restrictions on free expression and arbitrary detention of journalists and bloggers, travel bans on activists, enforced disappearances and practices amounting to torture.

On  26  March,  the  UN  High  Commissioner  for  Human  Rights  “urged  Syria  to  listen  to  the  voices  of  its people  who  are  rising  up  and  demanding  change  in  the  country”.  She  also  qualified  as  “particularly isturbing” the fact that the violent repression of protests by security forces continued the day after the Government  had  announced  reforms.  She  finally  called  for  the  release  of  all  detained  protesters  and human  rights  defenders,  and  for  an  independent,  impartial  and  transparent  investigation  into those recent killings.

On 31 March, according to the Syrian state news agency SANA, President Bashar al‐Assad directed the
establishment  of a committee to “launch immediate investigations into all the incidents which claimed
the  lives  of  a  number  of  civilians  and  military  personnel  in  Dara’a  and  Latakia”.  However,  given  the repeated  failures  over  the  years  of  the  Syrian  authorities  to  conduct  independent  and  thorough investigations into numerous abuses, the limited scope of the investigation and the fact that the Syrian authorities  have  been  blaming  “armed  gangs”  for  the  violence,  it  is  highly  unlikely  that  any  such investigation established by the Syrian authorities will be sufficiently independent, thorough and robust.  Given  these  concerns  and  the  past  human  rights  record  of  the  Government  of  Syria,  we  believe  the international  community  should  pressure  them  to  immediately  end  the  bloodshed  and  to  hold  into account those responsible for any unlawful shooting against demonstrators.

The  grave  human  rights  abuses  committed  by  the  Syrian  government  in  the  context  of  the  on-going crackdown  against  protesters  include  violations  of  the  right  to  life,  freedom  of  peaceful  assembly  and association, freedom of expression and freedom of movement. We therefore urge the Members of the UN Human Rights Council to convene as soon as possible a Special Session on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The  recent  crackdown  against  protesters  in  Syria  is  taking  place  in  the  broader  context  of  protest movements  in  the  Middle  East  and  North  Africa  since  December  2010.  Some  Governments  have responded  to  these  calls  for  reforms  through  increased  violence.  It  is  the  responsibility  of  the  Human Rights  Council  to  remind  all  States  that  fierce  repression  of  generally  peaceful  protests  is  contrary  to international human rights obligations of these governments, and to take appropriate measures to help the victims and ensure accountability. In this context, the signatories of this letter reiterate the calls upon the  Human  Rights  Council  to  also  address  the  massive  repressions  in  Bahrain,  circulated  on  18  March 2011, and in Yemen, circulated on 28 March 2011. We believe that these situations still warrant the full attention of the Human Rights Council.
•     African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
•     African Democracy Forum
•     Amnesty International
•     Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM‐ASIA)
•     Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)
•     Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
•     CIVICUS World Alliance of Citizen Participation
•     Conectas Direitos Humanos
•     Corporacion Humanas (Chile)
•     Damascus Centre for Human Rights
•     Democracy Coalition Project
•     East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project
•     Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (Egypt)
•     Haithem Malah Foundation
•     Human Rights Agenda Nigeria
•     Human Rights Watch
•     International Commission of Jurists
•     International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
•     International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
•     Partnership for Justice, Nigeria
•     West African Human Rights Defenders Network (WAHRDN)