By accepting Turkey’s attack on Afrin, the US has become complicit in President Erdoğan’s explicit ethnic cleansing plan to expel the Kurds from a part of Syria where they have lived for centuries, and to eradicate the democratic experiment developing in Rojava. Encouraged by the lack of response from the US, Erdoğan is threatening to take his military campaign deeper into Syria. It is clear that this is already benefiting ISIS. To stop this madness, Turkey must be isolated economically, diplomatically, and militarily until it withdraws its troops and proxy militias from Kurdish Syria.
While there are no longer any illusions about the role of the UN Security Council, every member state has nevertheless pledged to uphold the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine under the UN’s Office on Genocide Prevention. For the agony of the people of Syria to come to an end, the perpetrators of these colossal crimes against humanity must be halted, once and for all. Today, we ask those members states to act now to stop the Syrian genocide: demand an immediate ceasefire, an immediate lifting of all sieges, immediate access for relief aid agencies, release of political detainees, and immediate protection for all Syrian lives.
Today, as we gather in Oslo for the award ceremony of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, we take note, with surprise and regret, of the Chinese government’s foolish responses to the granting of this distinguished prize to Dr. Liu Xiaobo. These responses—which have included restricting the freedom of movement of Liu Xiaobo’s family and prohibiting Chinese citizens from expressing their congratulations—are examples of serious government abuses of universal human rights.