New York

18 March 2011

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Syria

The Secretary-General is concerned about the reported killing of demonstrators in Der'a, Syria today. The use of lethal force against peaceful demonstrators and their arbitrary arrests are unacceptable. The Secretary-General urges the Syrian authorities to refrain from violence and to abide by their international commitments regarding human rights which guarantee the freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom of the press and the right to peaceful assembly. The Secretary-General believes that, as elsewhere, it is the responsibility of the Government in Syria to listen to the legitimate aspirations of the people and address them through inclusive political dialogue and genuine reforms, not repression.