Last month, NUS Vice President Society and Citizenship Dannie Grufferty wrote to the Foreign Secretary William Hague to relay concerns over the violent crackdown of protest in Syria.
The United Nations states that thousands of civilians have been killed by Syrian security forces since the uprisings began in March.
There have been reports that students taking part in protests in Syria are being expelled from university, with security forces brutally attacking, assaulting, and even killing students in the country.
NUS believe that students should be able to protest peacefully, without fear of expulsion from university or fear of attack.
Dannie has received a letter back from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Near East Group. You can read their response below.
Dannie also wrote to the Syrian Ambassador, but has yet to recieve a response.
Response from the Foreign Office
15 February 2012
Dear Ms Grufferty,
Thank you for your email of 12 January to the Foreign Secretary about the situation in Syria. I have been asked to reply.
The UK has also been at the forefront of work to secure action in the UN. On 2 December the UN Human Rights Council passed its strongest resolution yet, by a large majority, strongly condemning human rights violations, expressing support for the Arab League process, calling on Syria to implement the Commission of Inquiry (COI) recommendations and establishing a special rapporteur to ensure that independent monitoring of the situation continues. On 22 November the international community sent a signal of united condemnation of the Syrian regime’s systematic human rights abuses by passing a UNGA resolution calling on the Syrian government to end the appalling violence and to implement the Arab League’s plan of action without delay. This resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly Plenary on 20 December.
A UN Security Council Presidential Statement on 3 August condemned the violence in Syria. On 4 October, Russia and China vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria, which condemned the Syrian regime’s use of force, called for an end to violence, and threatened sanctions if the situation did not improve. The Arab League gave a clear call for greater UN involvement in ending the violence in Syria on 22 January. The Foreign Secretary travelled to the UN in New York on 31 January, along with US Secretary of State Clinton and French Foreign Minister Juppe, to endorse the Arab League’s call for the UN Security Council to take action. This was also vetoed by Russia and China, and the violence in Syria has tragically deteriorated further. The Foreign Secretary set out the Government’s position on Syria in the House of Commons on 6 February.
There are no temporary arrangements for Syrian nationals to apply for short term discretionary leave outside the Immigration Rules. Any national who wishes to extend their leave under the Immigration Rules should apply in the normal way using the relevant application form.
Near East Group
For more information please contact NUS Vice President Society and Citizenship, Dannie Grufferty