SA concerned over Syria crackdown

2011-08-02 19:10
Johannesburg - South Africa on Tuesday urged the Syrian government to launch a credible investigation into the violent crackdown on anti-regime protests there, the department of international relations said.

"We would like to call on the Syrian authorities to comply with their international obligations under human rights and humanitarian law and to launch a credible and impartial investigation into the violence in Syria," the department said in a statement.

The call came after activists said Syrian security forces killed nearly 140 people on Sunday in one of the deadliest days in more than four months of anti-regime protests.

"South Africa expresses concern at the high number of deaths brought about by the violence in Syria over the past two days. We deeply regret all loss of life and remain concerned about the possible humanitarian impact of the violence," said the department.

The statement added that South Africa believes the only solution to the current crisis is through an inclusive, Syrian-led political process addressing "the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the population which will allow for the full exercise of fundamental freedoms, including that of expression and peaceful assembly."

The violence over the weekend has drawn international condemnation over the use of force and repression against civilian Syrian protesters.

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