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Tánaiste Condemns Ongoing Violence in Syria

Security, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2011

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Eamon Gilmore, T.D. has condemned the ongoing violence and serious repression of human rights in Syria, as the conflict there enters its tenth month.

“As we approach the Christmas season, I know the thoughts of many here in Ireland will be with the ordinary brave citizens of Syria, who are continuing to be subject to completely unacceptable levels of State violence and repression in their efforts merely to uphold basic human rights and freedoms.”

“The level of atrocity committed in Syria over the past nine months has been truly appalling. This has been further confirmed by last night’s Channel 4documentary, which displayed graphic and shocking images of torture and violence carried out by the Syrian security forces on civilians.”

“The UN estimates that over 5,000 people have been killed by Syrian forces since last March. Last week, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Navi Pillay, laid out a persuasive case to the Security Council that the Syrian regime is guilty of committing crimes against humanity in its brutal response to pro-democracy protests. I warmly welcome a Resolution calling for an end to all human rights abuses in Syria which was adopted by the General Assembly last night and which was supported by Ireland and by an overwhelming majority of the UN membership.”

“The brutal violence in Syria must end. The Assad regime must make way for a genuine political transition which will enable the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people to be finally fulfilled.  I strongly support the efforts of the Arab League to bring about an end to the violence and I welcome the fact that Arab League monitors will now be allowed to enter Syria in the coming days. The Arab League has brought forward a plan which provides for the withdrawal of all Syrian forces from besieged towns and cities, for the release of all detainees and for the beginning of genuine political dialogue with the Syrian opposition. This is the only way forward. If the Assad regime does not take this route, it will find itself exposed to a steady escalation of international pressure, sanctions and isolation.”