Yesterday I moved a motion in Parliament on Syria, which was passed unanimously. It read:
“That this House condemn the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Hama and other Syrian cities and call upon the Syrian Government to enter into a serious national dialogue to chart a transition to democratic government.”
New Zealand now joins the growing international voice against escalating violence by the Assad government. So far there have been statements from the European Union, President Obama, the UK Foreign Secretary , the Hague, and today the UN Security Council.
Human rights groups have reported the shooting in Hama by the Syrian authorities killed 140 people. It is important we maximise international pressure on the regime to end the violence against peaceful protesters, and its responsibilities under international law, and also demonstrate our support for peaceful change and the Syrian people’s call for genuine democratic reform.
Last Saturday I joined a march called by the Auckland Syrian community calling for freedom in their homeland. Since March, when protests began in Syria, up to 2,000 peaceful demonstrators have been killed, 6,000 injured, 8,000 are missing and 20,000 imprisoned.