The S&D Group in the European Parliament strongly condemns the Syrian authorities for the deliberate violent repression against peaceful demonstrators, human rights activists and the Syrian people. The Group calls for a peaceful and lasting transition to democracy in Syria.
S&D vice-president Véronique De Keyser and S&D coordinator on human rights Richard Howitt said:
"We call once again for an immediate end to violent crackdowns against peaceful demonstrators and harassment of their families. We ask for the unconditional release of all detained protesters, political prisoners, human rights defenders and journalists.
"We strongly support the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Syrian people and we support the Council's decision of 18 July 2011 which states that the Syrian regime is calling its legitimacy into question by choosing a path of repression instead of fulfilling its own promises on broad reforms. It is time for President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power."
"President Bashar al-Assad's announcements and promised reforms, offering amnesties and an end to the state of emergency, have lost all credibility. Consequently, the Socialists and Democrats call for further sanctions that target the regime but do not have a negative impact on the living conditions of the population.
"Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament call for an immediate, genuine and inclusive political process with the participation of all democratic political actors and civil society organisations for a peaceful and lasting transition to democracy in Syria."