Syria: UN chief urges end to violence and calls for credible probe into killings


23 April 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the ongoing violence against peaceful demonstrators in Syria, which has resulted in more deaths and many injuries, and called upon the country”s authorities to stop the bloodshed and respect international human rights.

Mr. Ban reiterated that there should be an independent, transparent and effective investigation into the killings.

The Secretary-General “reminds the Syrian authorities of their obligation to respect international human rights, including the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as well as the freedom of the press,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson late on Friday.

He took note of the lifting of the state of emergency and of the programme of reforms announced by President Bashar al-Assad and emphasized his belief that only an inclusive dialogue and the effective implementation of reforms can address the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and ensure social peace and order.

Media reports stated that dozens of people were killed on Friday when thousands of people took to the streets in several Syria cities to call for political reforms. More violence was reported in the country in further protests today and there are reports of several more deaths, according to the press reports.

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