ResourcesPress Release

President Obama’s Call for Assad to Step Down is Positive Step

Physicians for Human Rights also calls for accountability for human rights violations

For Immediate Release

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) applauds President Obama’s decision today to call on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to step downfollowing the brutal assaults on pro-democracy protesters. Today’s announcementis the first time the Administration has clearly stated its support for theouster of Assad. 

PHR sources have documented serious attacks against civilians, inwhich more than 1,700 people have been killed. The Syrian government hasengaged in rampant and widespread criminality, including violations of medicalneutrality. 

While the Administration’s call for President Assad’s resignationand announcement of additional sanctions are important steps forward, allperpetrators of grave human rights violations must be held accountable fortheir actions. Instilling a tradition of accountability will bolster thetrajectory of democracy in Syria.

PHR also strongly supports the efforts of the US in calling for aUN Human Rights Council special session on Syria, and is thankful for the workthe US and its partners have done in keeping Syria off this international humanrights body. We also support the Administration’s increased sanctionsagainst the Syrian government and the mitigation of any unintended consequencesof the sanctions on the Syrian people. 

“Today, the US Administration took a strong stand in solidaritywith the Syrian people. By pushing for the end of the Assad regime, the US istrying to create real political space for the Syrian people to determine theirfuture,” said Hans Hogrefe, PHR Washington Director and Chief Policy Officer,“However, the widespread human rights violations and the many deaths caused bythe brutal crackdown cannot be absolved by a simple resignation. Instead, theremust be full accountability for the perpetrators.”

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

Media Contact

Kevin Short

Media Strategy, Senior Manager1.917.679.0110