“Opposition groups and activists are planning to meet in in Antalya, Turkey from May 31 to June 2 in an attempt to elect a transitional council, connect with protesters inside the country, and present the international community with a clear alternative to Assad”
The meeting was originally scheduled for Cairo, but the opposition was unable to obtain permission. Mideast Reports was told last week that the the opposition was relocating to Turkey, and it was officially confirmed today. This will be the second time opposition figures have met in Turkey, the first was back in April when members of the Muslim Brotherhood gathered in Istanbul.
– The number of human rights violations in the country continues to rise. Mideast Reports caught up with Nadim Houry at the Human Rights Watch regional office in Beirut to learn more:
– A day after imposing sanctions, European leaders called on the UN Human Rights Council to condemn the attacks on protesters. Steps were also taken by Canada, Turkey and theUS to push Assad toward either reform or departure.
– On May 24 Syrian Americans gathered in Washington DC:
Some 400 Syrian Americans from across the country convened in D.C. Tuesday for a first-of-its-kind day of lobbying, rallies, and planning sessions to support freedom and dignity for the people of Syria who are struggling against their government for self-determination.
“Freedom for Syria” day was organized by the Syrian American Council (SAC), and included a protest at the Syrian Embassy, a rally at the White House, and visits with congressional offices to urge increased support for the Obama administration’s pressure on the Assad regime to end its brutal tactics and allow freedom for its people.
SAC is seeking diplomatic and political pressure on the Assad regime by the U.S. government, including support for International Criminal Court (ICC) indictments of Assad and others responsible for the ruthless repression in Syria, but it is not advocating military intervention.
In the afternoon, SAC hosted a summit to plan the group’s efforts to support the pro-democracy movement in Syria. The summit began with a briefing by a high-ranking State Department official on the current situation in Syria, followed by briefings by representatives of human rights organizations and a legal strategy session. The group adopted a resolution in support of the Syrian freedom movement, ratified a plan of action, and established committees to implement the plan.
“This day was a milestone in Syrian American activism,” said SAC Director Yaser Tabbara. “We have been galvanized by the recent crisis in Syria, and now hundreds of Syrian Americans are feeling energized and empowered to do our part to advance the cause of democracy and freedom in Syria.”
Video from the event:
All of this activity comes days after yet another bloody weekend in a revolution that has claimed at least 900 lives. Stay tuned for more information on the tenuous situation in Syria.