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17 May 2011 description
  • US, EU say they plan new steps in Syria

  • Residents say up to 26 bodies found near Deraa

  • Authorities deny existence of mass grave

  • France renews efforts for UN resolution against Syria

(Releads with U.S. and EU pressure, add new quotes)

By Suleiman al-Khalidi

AMMAN, May 17 (Reuters) - The West warned of more pressure on Syria on Tuesday if a crackdown against pro-democracy protests continues, hours after tanks stormed a city in the south, cradle of an uprising against Baathist rule.

17 May 2011 description
report IRIN

GOLAN, 17 May 2011 (IRIN) - When thousands of Palestinian refugees gathered on the Syrian border with Israel near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights recently, local villagers were stunned. It was the first time in more than 20 years that there had been trouble on this border.

As the crowd surged towards Israeli territory, the Israeli military shot eight protesters dead - on 15 May, the anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, a date known as `Nakba' (catastrophe) by Palestinians.

17 May 2011 description
report Voice of America

Syria's Interior Ministry has denied the existence of a mass grave in the southern city of Daraa, where the army entered last month to put down anti-government protests.

A ministry official told the state news agency Tuesday that reports of the mass grave are completely false, adding that the reports are part of a campaign of incitement against Syria.

Daraa residents and human rights activists say locals discovered the grave on the outskirts of the town, but authorities later blocked access to the area to prevent removal of the bodies.

17 May 2011 description

Revised Appeal target (current): this emergency appeal seeks CHF 14,840,345 in cash, kind or services to assist some 250,000 beneficiaries (150,000 in Tunisia; 50,000 in Egypt, 20,000 in Syria; 20,000 in Yemen, plus additional beneficiaries covered by response activities, disaster preparedness and contingency planning efforts in other countries. Both the revised budget and the interim financial report are attached (as per income and expenditure figures at the end of March) and the reporting timeframe is included on the interim report

16 May 2011 description

Human Rights Council

Seventeenth session

Agenda item 3

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development


The present report contains findings and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (“right to health”) after his visit to the Syrian Arabic Republic from 7 to 14 November 2010, during which he visited Damascus, Aleppo and Al Hasakah.

16 May 2011 description

UNHCR has been present in Iraq since the 1980s protecting refugees and asylum seekers. While Iraq is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol it has hosted, with UNHCR assistance, Palestinian, Iranian, Turkish and Syrian refugees. Following the fall of the previous regime, UNHCR program included assisting returning refugees and IDPs. After the Samara Shrine bombing in February 2006,

16 May 2011 description
report UN News Service

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has led a chorus of United Nations calls for all sides in the Middle East to exercise maximum restraint after a day of clashes around the region in which at least a dozen people are reported to have died. Clashes took place today along the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon, in the occupied Golan after the breach of the disengagement line from the Syrian side, and in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The clashes followed demonstrations by Palestinians to mark the anniversary of Israeli independence in 1948.

15 May 2011 description

Gunfire from Syria has hit several people in a crowd across the border in Lebanon, killing one person and wounding five others, including a Lebanese soldier.

The incident comes as Syrian forces continue their crackdown on dissent across the country and as thousands of Syrians flee across the border into Lebanon to escape the threat of violence.

Lebanese authorities say in the past week alone more than 5,000 Syrians have entered the country and 500 have crossed the border in the past 24 hours.

15 May 2011 description
report Human Rights Watch

(New York, May 15, 2011) – Syria’s security forces continue their nationwide campaign of arbitrary arrests and intimidation against political and human rights activists, holding them incommunicado, forcing them to sign undertakings to stop protesting, and in some cases torturing them, Human Rights Watch said today.

14 May 2011 description


Béatrice Mégevand-Roggo is the ICRC's head of operations for the Near East and Middle East. She talks about the situation in Syria, the ICRC’s main concerns and what the organization is doing to help.

What is the current situation and what are your main concerns?

13 May 2011 description

Human rights campaigner tells of secret visits to beleaguered southern Syrian city.

By Wissam Tarif - The Arab Spring

Arab Spring Issue 14, 12 May 11

My first visit to Dera’a to document reported human rights abuses and killings was in March, when we managed to sneak in at dawn with the help of locals.

I saw many corpses in the city’s hospital; many had been shot in the head. We tried to collect testimonies from the doctors but it was difficult because we couldn’t stay there too long - there were soldiers actually inside the emergency room.

13 May 2011 description

Excerpted from the regular press briefing by the Information Service, UN Office at Geneva

Middle East

Rupert Colville of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the Office had been receiving reports of an escalation in the human rights violations in a number of countries in the Middle East, where the governments appeared to be continuing to deal with protests through increased repression and use of lethal force, rather than through dialogue, negotiation and real reforms.


12 May 2011 description
report UN News Service

12 May 2011 – The unrest across North Africa and the Middle East and the crises and challenges in other parts of the world topped the agenda during talks between General Assembly President Joseph Deiss and the Security Council’s current President.

Mr. Deiss and Ambassador Gérard Araud of France, which holds the rotating Council presidency during May, met yesterday and discussed the situations in Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Cote d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), among others.

12 May 2011 description
report AlertNet

By Katie Nguyen

LONDON (AlertNet) - Red Cross and Red Crescent aid workers hope to deliver supplies of emergency relief next week to two cities in Syria where weeks of pro-democracy protests have led to a military crackdown.

Read the full article on AlertNet.

12 May 2011 description

12 May 2011

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) today reiterates its call on the United Nations Security Council to take robust measures to end the ongoing attacks on the Syrian population by members of the security and armed forces. The attacks have resulted in gross human rights violations amounting to crimes under international law.

12 May 2011 description

Rights activists in Syria say the country's security forces are continuing a town-by-town crackdown on dissent -- with troops involved in a mass round-up of opposition leaders a day after launching what is being described as one of the most brutal waves of repression since uprisings began across the Arab world earlier this spring.

12 May 2011 description
report IRIN

NAIROBI, 11 May 2011 (IRIN) - Continuing violence in Syria has affected the delivery of aid to Palestinian refugees, raising concerns about the impact on 30,000 people in Dera’a and surrounding areas, including 120 patients who receive insulin, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said.

11 May 2011 description

A year of complex challenges for UN peace operations 2010 was in many ways a watershed one for UN peace operations.

11 May 2011 description

Syrian rights activists say at least 19 people were killed when security forces and unidentified snipers opened fire on protesters in Syrian towns and cities.

Thirteen of the casualties were reported in the village of Al-Harra, near the protest center of Daraa, south of the capital, Damascus.

Tank fire reportedly killed five people on the outskirts of the central city of Homs. Another civilian was reported killed in Jassem, near Daraa.