UN Human Rights Council special session on Syria. . Photo: UN photo/Pierre Albouy
- Sanctions against Syria should be considered
Last updated: 5/6/2011 //
“I condemn the Syrian authorities’ arrests, violence, and killing of civilians. Political leaders who turn their military forces on their own people lose their legitimacy. In cases like this the international community should consider responding with sanctions,” commented Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.
The Syrian authorities have clamped down brutally on the demonstrations that have taken place in recent weeks. The international media’s lack of access to Syria makes it difficult to give an accurate account of the situation, but there are reports that several hundred people have been killed and several thousand arrested.
“Norway urges President Assad in the strongest possible terms to enter into dialogue with the protesters in order to meet their legitimate demands. It is crucial that the Syrian authorities now open the way for a political process that can lead to free elections,” Mr Støre said.
Norway actively supported the decision by the UN Human Rights Council on 29 April to task the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with investigating all alleged violations of human rights law and crimes committed against civilians in Syria as soon as possible. The purpose of the investigation is to establish the facts and ensure that those responsible for human rights violations are brought to justice.