EU top diplomat condemns violence in Syria

The EU foreign policy chief condemned the use of force against anti-government demonstrators in Syria as “appalling and intolerable,” DPA reported on Sunday.

Violence in Syria has been slowly escalating for five weeks, reaching its peak on Friday, when dozens of protestors were killed in a brutal crackdown by police and security forces.

“I call on the Syrian government to carry out profound political reforms, starting with the respect for basic rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton said. “That process can only be made possible by putting an immediate end to all repressive violence.”

According to various reports, up to 112 people had been killed on Friday’s anti-governmental massacre in Syria as the security forces opened fire and used teargas against demonstrators who protested against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption.

Violence continued on Saturday, as police fired live ammunition at mourners, attending funeral procession for victims of Friday’s clash.

Syrian mass protests started in Daraa on the border with Jordan on March 18. They were prompted by the arrest of a group of school students who wrote anti-government mottos on walls. The unrest later spread to other Syrian regions.

In response to the protests, Assad formed a new government, promised a score of political and economic reforms, and even lifted on Tuesday the almost five-decade long state of emergency in the country.

However, these measures failed to pacify the opposition prompting the government to resort to violence in dealing with the protesters.

MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti)

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