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UN chief condemns violence against civilians in Syria

08-01-2011 09:08 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, July 31 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Sunday voiced deep concern over reports from Syria that hundreds of protesters have been killed or injured in the city of Hama and other towns across the country during the weekend.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, he strongly condemned the use of force against the civilians and called on the government of Syria to immediately halt the violence.

Ban reiterated that the Syrian authorities have an obligation to respect the human rights of the Syrian people, including their freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly. He urged the government to heed the legitimate aspirations of the population.

"The Secretary-General reminds the Syrian authorities that they are accountable under international human rights law for all acts of violence perpetrated by them against the civilian population," said the statement.

Syria has been in unrest since mid March when anti-government protests broke out in the southern province of Daraa and spread to other cities. The Syrian authorities blamed the unrest on "armed groups and foreign conspiracy" and stressed that it would track down gunmen who have intimidated people and damaged public and private properties.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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