Canada Leads Way in Condemning Syria at UN Human Rights Council

(No. 165 – June 15, 2011 – 6:20 p.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, today instructed the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, to lead the way in condemning the current Syrian regime’s attacks on its own people. Canada delivered this condemnation on behalf of 54 countries from various regions.

"The situation in Syria is completely unacceptable and Canada continues to demonstrate leadership on the world stage through efforts like the one today,” said Minister Baird. "I asked our delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council to seek the support of like-minded nations to condemn the actions of the Assad regime in Syria as a gross violation of human rights."

Just weeks ago, Canada joined many other nations in imposing sanctions against the Assad regime in Syria. The world has been outraged by the regime’s brutal attacks on defenceless civilians, including children, journalists and human rights defenders.

"The Syrian regime must immediately end the killing and other acts of violence against peaceful protestors, the arbitrary arrests and the detention and torture of protestors and dissidents," said Minister Baird. "The Syrian regime’s attempts at diverting domestic and international attention from its brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrations are unacceptable.

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently stated that ‘moral ambiguity [and] moral equivalence are not options. They are dangerous illusions.’ Leadership means taking a stand and speaking out, and that is exactly what Canada is doing at the United Nations Human Rights Council."

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