Reacting to the escalating violent repressions of demonstrations in Syria, ALDE President, Guy Verhofstadt has called on the International Community, and in a first instance the European Union, to take a firm and resolute position to defend peaceful protesters.

Across Syria people are risking their lives for freedom and democracy.  The promise of President Assad for democratic reform and the lifting of emergency laws while at the same time killing those people who are demanding these freedoms, is not only highly cynical, but totally unacceptable. The international community has reacted too softly and too slowly to the incumbent regimes throughout the Arab democratic uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. They should not repeat the same mistake again and procrastinate while people are being gunned down on the streets of Syria.

The International Community and the EU should take action now before the situation deteriorates further by imposing dissuasive sanctions on the regime and send an unequivocal message to the Syrian regime via a UN Security Council Resolution that we will not stand by and let Assad mercilessly kill his people“.