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UN rights chief calls on Syria to halt force on protestors

Published on 12/04/2011

The UN human rights chief on Tuesday called on Syrian authorities to halt the excessive use of force on peaceful protestors, particularly the use of live fire.

“The High Commissioner has emphasized to the Syrian authorities that the use of force against peaceful protestors has not quelled discontent anywhere in the region and to take immediate action to stop the excessive use of force, particularly the use of live ammunition against peaceful protestors,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The spokeswoman also highlighted a reported “intensification of killings of protestors” by Syrian security forces, mass arrests of activists and harassment of journalists, saying that such action had to stop.

“A number of journalists, international and Syrian, as well as Syrian bloggers have reportedly been arrested and TV signals suspended of at least one private TV station,” said Shamdasani.

“Syrian authorities must immediately release journalists detained for doing their jobs and to respect the right to freedom of expression,” she added.