Canada Remembers Victims and Condemns Repression on the Anniversary of Syrian Uprising

March 15, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement on the solemn anniversary of the start of peaceful protests in Syria:

“One year after the Syrian people began their peaceful protests seeking reforms by the Assad regime, we remember sadly the thousands of Syrians who have been detained, tortured and killed by this reckless regime.

“The lives of those who have stood up against this savage repression cannot be lost in vain.

“Recent reports have emerged that the Syrian military has laid a band of anti-personnel mines along stretches of Syria’s borders. It is clear that the principal victims of the mines will be the innocent Syrian people trying desperately to flee the violence. We expect Syria to halt these actions immediately.

“One thing is clear, Assad must go. There is no other course of action.

“Those backing the Syrian regime should reconsider their support for such a brutal regime that continues to lack all regard for human life. Those who continue to support the regime and its repression will only share responsibility for their crimes.”

Minister Baird was pleased to note that Canadian parliamentarians unanimously passed a motion condemning the Assad regime and called upon it to end its reprehensible actions.

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Text of the motion follows.

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That, on the one year anniversary of the uprising of the Syrian people, this House condemn in the strongest terms the ongoing and reprehensible use of violence against the Syrian people at the hands of the Assad regime, including the use of landmines by Syrian forces; that it recognize the impact of the internal displacement and refugee situation on the safety of the Syrian people and the stability of the region; that it call on those backing this illegitimate and irresponsible regime to reverse their current position and to allow for unhindered humanitarian aid to reach those who need it most; that this House express its deep disappointment at the continued failure by the UN Security Council to effectively deal with the crisis in Syria; and that this House stand in support with the Syrian people as they strive to build a better, brighter future.