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Ban Ki-moon says mass arrests of protesters not consistent with serious reform in Syria

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General is following with deep concern the escalating violence against peaceful protesters in Syria. He calls on the Syrian authorities to stop repression immediately. All sides should refrain from using violence.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call for a credible and inclusive dialogue, which should be carried out without delay and be part of a broad and genuine reform effort. The mass arrests of protesters are not consistent with serious reform, and should stop. The Secretary-General urges President Bashar Al‑Assad to concretely respond to pressing grievances and longer-term concerns of the Syrian people.

The Secretary-General continues to urge the Syrian Government to allow humanitarian access to affected areas and to facilitate the visit by the fact-finding mission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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