Resignations Hit Syrian National Council as 3 Members Quitإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Syrian opposition suffered on Wednesday a setback on the political front with resignations from the Syrian National Council (SNC), an umbrella movement of anti-regime groups.
The opposition, which is heavily outgunned by the regime and has called for its fighters to be armed in the defense of civilians, was hit by resignations from SNC ranks.
Haitham al-Maleh, Kamal al-Labwani and Catherine al-Talli announced on their Facebook pages were they quitting due to "differences" and the "inefficiency" of the SNC, an opposition coalition of Islamists, liberals and nationalists.
On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the revolt, which kicked off with peaceful protests that were brutally crushed, Amnesty International warned on Wednesday of the "nightmarish world of systematic torture" faced by detainees in Syria.
"The scale of torture and other ill-treatment in Syria has risen to a level not witnessed for years," Amnesty said in a report based on testimony from survivors who fled to Jordan.
The U.N. human rights office is to send observers to Syria's neighboring countries to collect evidence and document atrocities, the deputy rights commissioner said.
"We will be sending monitors for information collection and documentation of the violations and atrocities in the border areas in the neighboring countries later this week," said Kang Kyung-wha.
Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday issued a decree setting May 7 as the date for parliamentary elections under a new constitution adopted in February. But Washington immediately dismissed the planned vote as "ridiculous."
"Parliamentary elections for a rubber-stamp parliament in the middle of the kind of violence that we're seeing across the country -- it's ridiculous," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
They would be the third such polls since Assad came to power in 2000, but the first under a multi-party system as authorized under the new charter.