The wives of U.N. diplomats have produced a video appealing to Asma Assad to stop her husband's bid to thwart the uprising in his country. Msnbc.com's Dara Brown reports.
Updated 11:51 a.m. ET: The wives of two United Nations ambassadors have produced an Internet video appealing to Syria's first lady, Asma Assad, to "stop your husband" Bashar in his bid to thwart a popular uprising that has left thousands dead.
The film, posted on YouTube, contrasts the lavish lifestyle of 36-year-old mother-of-three Asma with images of dead and injured Syrian children and asks viewers to sign a petition demanding the U.K.-born first lady speak out to "stop the bloodshed."
"Some women care for style... and some care for their people," it says, in a reference to her frequent shopping trips to Europe.
"Stand up for peace, Asma. Speak out now. For the sake of your people. Stop your husband," asks the video. "Stop being a bystander. No one cares about your image. We care about your action."
It includes a file clip of Asma, a former investment banker, telling an audience, "We should all be able to live in peace, stability and with our dignities."
The video then asks: "What happened to you, Asma?"
The video was 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. Britain and Germany are both members of the U.N. Security Council.
"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, according to Reuters.
The European Union has banned Asma Assad from traveling to the EU or shopping from European companies.
The video follows a similar online appeal from human rights group Rise 4 Humanity.
Asma and her husband were shown on Syrian state TV Wednesday packing food aid, an apparent effort to change their public image.
State television broadcast pictures on Wednesday of the Assads receiving a rapturous welcome at al-Fahya stadium in Damascus. They joined hundreds of volunteers boxing cartons full of flour, sugar, cooking oil and pasta for victims of fighting in Homs, where the president's forces are crushing an uprising.
The Assads have long worked to manage their image, but it backfired a year ago when a glamorous photo shoot and gushing profile of Asma appeared in Vogue magazine just as her husband launched his violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
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.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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