Syria: NPWJ congratulates women human rights activists for attaining tougher laws against honour killings

3 Lug, 2009 | Comunicati Stampa

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) congratulate Syrian women leaders and human rights activists for their success in attaining the abolition of article 548 of the civil code which justified so-called honour killing, and its replacement by tougher law for those who commit those crimes, as a positive step in their long-standing struggle against this brutal practice which blatantly violates the human rights of women.

Syria still has a long way to go on the path towards democratic reform and respect for the rule of law and the country’s human rights record leaves much to be desired with the constant repression of any form of political dissent. This victory by women leaders and human rights activists demonstrates that change can happen, with dedication and commitment by civil society to political and human rights reforms.

NPWJ and the NRPTT call on the Syrian authorities to allow human rights and democracy advocates to exercise their fundamental right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression, ending the repeated intimidations and continuous prosecutorial hounding against them, in violation of Syria’s international commitments under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

NPWJ and the NRPTT urge Syria to suspend the state of emergency in force since 1963 and to engage with civil society in a peaceful, open, and constructive dialogue, recognizing its crucial role in encouraging the growth of active citizenship, that can act as a guarantor, alongside government, for the promotion of political reforms and full respect for democratic values and freedom.

For further information, please contact Gianluca Eramo on / phone: +32-2-548 39 29 or Nicola Giovannini on org / phone: +32-2-548-3913.