Press release

FCO Minister welcomes calls for action on Syrian human rights abuses

Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood welcomes report by International Commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, yesterday delivered a speech in which he stated unequivocally that the Syrian Government was responsible for the torture, rape and abuse of thousands of Syrians.

Commenting on the speech, Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said:

The Commission of Inquiry is right to renew its calls for the UN Security Council to take action on the crisis in Syria, including referral to the International Criminal Court. Our last effort to do so was sadly blocked by Russia. The testimonies of ordinary Syrians released by the Inquiry leave no doubt of Assad’s continued brutality, and that he is responsible for creating the conditions that have allowed ISIL to spread. The world must not abandon the Syrian people to Assad and ISIL’s brutality.

There can be no peaceful settlement while Assad remains in power. Mr Pinheiro is right that the only way to end this violence is through dialogue. This will require negotiation between the Syrian government and the mainstream opposition, with the support of the international community and the United Nations. To help achieve this, we will continue to work with our international partners to increase support for the Syrian National Coalition, the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Together we must keep up the pressure for a political transition, which is the only way to end the suffering of the Syrian people.

Further information

Follow Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood on twitter: @TobiasEllwoodMP.

Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter.

Follow the Foreign Office on Facebook & Google+.

Media enquiries

Published 17 September 2014