The brutal crackdown on dissent in Syria continues unabated despite the signing of an Arab League peace plan on Nov. 2. The United Nations human rights office reported on Nov. 8 that the death toll in Syria has now surpassed 3,500. “We are deeply concerned about the situation and by the government’s failure to take heed of international and regional calls for an end to the bloodshed,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The day after the report was issued, Syrian forces continued a large-scale military operation, including the use of tanks and heavy weapons, to take control of the restive city of Homs. While the Syrian government announced the release of 553 detainees on Nov. 5 on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, tens of thousands remain in detention and dozens more are arrested arbitrarily every day.
Syrian Death Toll Passes 3,500
From CNS, Staff and other sources
Pope Francis: Open the doors! (May 2013)
A Papal Cure for Intolerance (May 2013)