The Foreign Minister of the Maldives Ahmed Naseem has called on Syria to immediately stop all the violence committed against civilians and urged the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to refer the issue in its upcoming session if the Syrian government continues to oppress its citizens.
Syria remains in turmoil following anti-government riots that spread across the Arab world earlier this year. Al-Jazeera reports that 1730 civilians and 406 security personnel have been killed in clashes in Syria since the start of the violence.
“The Maldives, like many other peace-loving Muslim nations as well as the wider international community, is deeply disturbed by the State-sponsored violence being perpetrated against civilians in Syria, violence which represents a serious violation of Islamic values, as well as of international human rights and humanitarian law,” Naseem said.
“The fact that such violence is increasing as we enter the Holy Month of Ramadan, a period of devotion and compassion, makes the actions of the Syrian authorities even more unacceptable.”
The Foreign Minister called on Syrian authorities to cease all violence against citizens and to begin a process of democratic and human rights reform.
“The time for promises is over – it is now time for action. That means the government must immediately stop all violations of human rights, including arbitrary killings, arbitrary detention, disappearance and torture; and must immediately allow the full enjoyment of all core human rights including freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. It also means that stated commitments of reform – which the Maldives has welcomed in previous statements – must be translated into real and urgent change, including free and fair multiparty elections.”
In addition Foreign Minister Naseem said that Syria must also fully comply with UN Human Rights Council resolution S-16/1, noting that Syria had yet to comply with any of the provisions of the resolution including the call to cooperate fully with the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission.
“The indiscriminate killing of innocent Muslim men, women and children by the Syrian State security forces, especially during the Holy Month of Ramadan, is completely unacceptable to the Maldives,” Naseem said.
“The Maldives, which is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, voted in favor of resolution S-16/1 because of our strong commitment to human rights, especially in the Muslim world.”
“The Maldives takes note of, and supports, the recent statements on this matter made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council,” he added.