Burkhalter condemns Syrian rights violations

Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter has called on Syria to immediately grant humanitarian aid workers safe access to people affected by the current violence.

This content was published on February 27, 2012 - 11:39
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Opening a four-week session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Burkhalter condemned human rights violations in Syria.

The Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad has been involved in a violent crackdown against anti-government protesters which began more than a year ago. It is estimated more than 5,000 people have been killed.

“We call on the Syrian authorities to immediately stop using violence and repression against the civil population and to take measures to ensure that the people responsible will be held accountable,” Burkhalter told the council.

Burkhalter said Switzerland supported initiatives by the Swiss-run International Committee of the Red Cross to broker a ceasefire.

Earlier this month Switzerland announced plans to close its embassy in Syria and extended economic sanctions in protest at the violence unleashed by the government against the population. 

Also on Monday, a Red Cross spokesman said the organisation had succeeded in entering the city of Hama for the first time in a month, delivering emergency food and other items for 12,000 people.

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