Dear the Hon. Kevin Rudd Minister for Foreign Affairs

Dear the Hon.
Kevin Rudd
Minister for Foreign Affairs,
I am emailing you to ask for your help in bringing an end to the increasingly urgent conflict in Syria.
In January earlier this year, following similar uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Syrians took to the streets to protest against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Al-Assad has failed to deliver on promises of reform since he came to power in the year 2000. Last year, Humans Rights Watch released a report looking back at al-Assad’s first decade in power. They concluded that Syria’s record on basic human rights, including rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, had failed to improve under al-Assad.

Since January, thousands of people have rallied across Syria, though the army has intervened on numerous occasions in an attempt to disperse protesters. Al-Assad’s security forces have also led a targeted brutal crackdown on innocent civilians. This has included sending in tanks, helicopters and thousands of soldiers to clamp down on those regions deemed especially resistive to the regime. Many innocent people have been shot dead, with some towns in particular having their electricity, water and food supplies cut off entirely.

At a recent session of Prime Minister’s Questions, the case of a thirteen year-old boy, Hamza Al-Khateeb, was raised with the Prime Minister. On 29th April, Hamza joined hundreds of protesters seeking to end the army’s hold on the southern town of Deraa. Having been picked up by security forces, a month later his body was delivered to his family’s home. Hamza had been brutally tortured whilst being held in custody. His body had burn marks, gunshot wounds, severed genitals and both his jaw and kneecaps had been smashed. Hamza is one of 1,300 people who have so far lost their lives, and one of thousands who have been arrested by Syrian security forces.

As a MP Minister for Foreign Affairs, I urge you to stand with the Australian-Syrian and the Australian- Lebanese, and Australian -Arab communities and voice your support of the Syrian people by signing Early Day Motion 1949, and take a stronger and more noticeable action siding with victimised people of Syria and promoting human right issues. I would also be grateful if you could write to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, asking her to take bolder action before more innocent lives are lost.

Thank you in advance for all your help in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Fadi El Haje
The General League of National Australian Lebanese
Mr Fadi El Haje
Postal Address: PO Box 21. Punchbowl NSW 2196
T: 0404050403



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