19 Apr 2012

Ambassadors' wives urge Assad's wife to act

11:30 am on 19 April 2012

The wives of the German and British ambassadors to the United Nations have released a video urging Syria's first lady to help end the bloodshed in her country.

The film, posted on YouTube, asks Asma Assad to urge her husband, Bashar al-Assad, to stop violent repression.

It contrasts glamorous pictures of her lifestyle with graphic images of dead and injured Syrian children.

The four-minute video made by Huberta von Voss Wittig and Sheila Lyall Grant - who say it was their own initiative - is addressed directly to Mrs Assad, calling her "Asma" throughout.

It says the injured and dying children "could all be your children", urges her to "stand up for peace", and asks "What happened to you, Asma?"

The film urges viewers to sign an online letter asking Mrs Assad to act to end the violence in Syria.

Born and educated in Britain, Mrs Assad used to be portrayed favourably by the Western media. Before the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, she helped to promote the international image of her husband's government and was the subject of flattering profiles in fashion magazines and newspapers.