Political leaders around the world have condemned the spiraling violence in Syria.
On Friday, up to 90 (maybe more) demonstrators were killed by Syrian security forces in the bloodiest day of the five-week uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. On Saturday, at least five more people were killed while attending funeral processions for the prior day’s victims.
U.S. President Barack Obama said the brutal crackdown by Assad’s regime against protesters must come to an end now and also accused Syria of obtaining help from Iran to brutalize its people.
This outrageous use of violence to quell protests must come to an end now, said Obama on Friday.
Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria's citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies. We strongly oppose the Syrian government's treatment of its citizens and we continue to oppose its continued destabilizing behavior more generally, including support for terrorism and terrorist groups.”
The United Nations is demanding a probe into the killing.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has called for an independent, transparent and effective investigation into the killings, his spokesman said.
The secretary-general condemns the ongoing violence against peaceful demonstrators in Syria, which again has killed and injured many today, and calls for it to stop immediately, Farhan Haq, Ban's spokesman, said in New York.
Ban stressed that Assad must respect international human rights, including the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as well as the freedom of the press.
The UN secretary-general also said that only an inclusive dialogue and the effective implementation of reforms can address the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and ensure social peace and order.
Similarly, condemnation came from Europe.
Jerzy Buzek, president of the European Parliament, called for the release of all political prisoners in Syria.
[Friday's] violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrations all over Syria is unacceptable,” he said. “The bloodshed has to stop now: this is the government's first and foremost responsibility. Any form of violence against peaceful demonstrators must stop: no more killing, no more torture, no more arbitrary arrests. An independent investigation into the deaths of protesters has to be carried out.
Officials in France denounced the violence used by Syrian troops.
We call on them once more to engage in an inclusive political dialogue without delay and to put into place reforms that respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, said Christine Fages, deputy spokeswoman for the foreign ministry.
The British foreign secretary William Hague stated: I am extremely concerned by the reports of deaths and casualties across Syria. I condemn the unacceptable killing of demonstrators by the Syrian security forces. The Syrian government should address the legitimate demands of the Syrian people. Political reforms should be brought forward and implemented without delay. The emergency law should be lifted in practice, not just in word.
Amnesty International also expressed its outrage.
The Syrian authorities have again responded to peaceful calls for change with bullets and batons, said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s London-based director for the Middle East.
They must immediately halt their attacks on peaceful protesters and instead allow Syrians to gather freely, as international law demands.
Russia also condemned the deaths of Syrian protesters, but in somewhat conciliatory language.
Russia's Foreign Ministry stated: The government and all nongovernmental and religious groups of our friend Syria should stop violence and continue looking for fair solutions to the existing problems within the legal framework and based on civil accord. We are firmly convinced that the country's stable and democratic development in the interests of all Syrian citizens can be ensured only through constructive dialogue and acceleration of large-scale political reforms and socioeconomic transformations planned by the Syrian leadership.”