UN Ambassadors’ Wives Urge Asma al-Assad to Stand up for Peace in Syria [Video]

The wives of the British and German ambassadors to the United Nations have released a video urging Syria’s first lady to demand her husband should stop the violence in her country.

The video, produced by Sheila Lyall Grant, the wife of Britain’s U.N. envoy, and Huberta von Voss-Wittig, the wife of Germany’s U.N. ambassador, contrasts the lavish lifestyle of 36-year-old Asma al-Assad, wife of President Bashar al-Assad and mother of three, with the images of dead and injured Syrian children.

According to The Guardian, the video asks viewers to sign a petition calling on Asma al-Assad to “stand up for peace … for the sake of your people”.

“We strongly believe in Asma’s responsibility as a woman, as a wife and as a mother. As the vocal female Arab leader that she used to be, as a champion of female equality, she can not hide behind her husband,” Lyall Grant and Wittig said in a statement.

“Her public voice is needed,” they said, adding that many female victims of the violence had taken the risk to stand up for their freedom. “We are asking Asma Assad to take a risk, too, and to say openly: stop the bloodshed, stop it right now,” Voss-Wittig and Lyall Grant said.

“Some women care for style and some women care for their people,” the narrator says against a backdrop of photographs of a glamorous Mrs Assad interspersed with images of dead and injured children caught up in the 13-month Syria uprising, according to The Telegraph.

The video says “some women have forgotten what they preached about peace”, followed by a clip of Assad telling a group of young people “we should all be able to live in peace, stability and with our dignity”.

It says: “One day, our children will ask us what we have done to stop this bloodshed. What will your answer be, Asma?”

A former investment banker, Asma al-Assad once cultivated the image of a serious-minded woman inspired by Western values, tells The Huff Post.

Born and raised in west London, she married  Bashar al-Assad in late 2000, the year he was installed as president.

Her role in the president’s inner circle has come under increased scrutiny after emails written by Syria’s first couple were leaked by opposition activists.

They showed that as the government offensive that has claimed an estimated 7,000 lives intensified, Asma al-Assad shopped online in London and Paris, spending tens of thousands of pounds on jewels, furniture and a Venetian glass vase from Harrods.

The European Union has banned Asma al-Assad from traveling to the EU or shopping from European companies, following the e-mails released.

According to the U.N. estimates, Assad’s forces have killed more than 9,000 people in the uprising. Syrian authorities say foreign-backed militants have killed over 2,600 soldiers and police.

The 15-nation U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to authorize an initial deployment of 30 unarmed observers to monitor a shaky truce that started on Thursday.

The overall level of violence is down since the ceasefire formally took effect Thursday, but the regime has gradually stepped up attacks. The number of people killed every day has also risen steadily since a brief lull that coincided with the start of the truce.

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