U.S. condemns Syria’s violent crackdown on protestersApril 13th, 2011 - 1:03 am ICT by BNO News
WASHINGTON (BNO NEWS) — The White House on Tuesday condemned the “outrageous” repression of protesters by the Syrian government as reports that the wounded were being denied medical care emerged.
“We are deeply concerned by reports that Syrians who have been wounded by their government are being denied access to medical care,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. “The escalating repression by the Syrian government is outrageous, and the United States strongly condemns the continued efforts to suppress peaceful protesters.”
The statement came as Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on events that took place on April 8 in Syria. It said that security forces in at least two towns prevented medical personnel and others from reaching wounded protesters, and prevented injured protesters from accessing hospitals.
“To deprive wounded people of critical and perhaps life-saving medical treatment is both inhumane and illegal,” Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East director, said.
The New York-based organization confirmed that at least 28 people were killed in protests in three towns on that day. Syrian human rights groups provided a list of 27 protesters killed in Daraa, and HRW confirmed the death of at least one additional protester in Douma. The April 8 shootings brought the total of protesters killed in Daraa and surrounding villages since March 18 to at least 130.
“President Assad and the Syrian government must respect the universal rights of the Syrian people, who are rightly demanding the basic freedoms that they have been denied,” the White House added.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke by telephone with al-Assad on Saturday, telling him that the killing of peaceful demonstrators is “unacceptable” and that they should be investigated. Al-Assad has pledged to investigate these reports, the UN said.
President al-Assad, who has ruled the country for 11 years, has promised a series of reforms in a bid to restore calm. He has agreed to analyze the possible end to the country’s emergency rule that began in 1963.
“Syria’s leaders talk about political reform, but they meet their people’s legitimate demands for reform with bullets,” Whitson said.
Protesters are demanding the ouster of al-Assad, who took over the post from his father Hafez al-Assad in 2000, and calling for greater freedoms. The country has been ruled by the Baath Party since 1963.
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