University | 10:42 am | September 21, 2011 | By Robert Peck

Amnesty International acts out Syrian violence

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Photo by Mason Kroll.

Yale’s Amnesty International chapter is printing Syrian violence to light on campus by acting out the scenes themselves.

Earlier today, Amnesty chapter members portrayed ongoing violence in Syria and what they claim is the world’s negligent reaction to it in a street theater performance on Cross Campus. While blue-shirted actors playing members of the United Nations Security Council walked indifferently around the lawns and walkways, students playing wounded and dying Syrians begged them for help that clearly wasn’t going to come.

“It was really scary,” passerby Smita Shukla ’15 said. “It really seems like this is a terrible situation.”

Along with the performance, Amnesty collected signatures on a petition stating that the UN should condemn Syrian violence, refer the Syrian government to an International Criminal Court and urge an arms embargo by the Security Council. The petition gathered 110 signatures this afternoon, in addition to 817 at Yale’s recent Fall Festival on Old Campus.

Yale Amnesty’s effort this afternoon was part of a larger ongoing campaign by Amnesty as a whole with the goal of convincing the UN to crack down on the Syrian government. Yale’s petition will be sent to foreign leaders in India, South Africa and Brazil.

The Syrian people have seen numerous human right violations for years, primarily at the hands of their own government, said Luka Kalandarishvili ’14, the treasurer of Yale’s Amnesty chapter.

“Amnesty International believes that grave violations of human rights are taking place in Syria,” said Luka Kalandarishvili ’14, the treasurer of Yale’s Amnesty chapter. “We consider the conditions of the Syrian government to be crimes against humanity.”

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