Syrians protest harsh U.N. resolution

A few hundred Syrians pledged support for their president and insisted that Syria was innocent of the murder of a Lebanese politician in a protest near the U.S. embassy on Tuesday, a day after the U.N. Security Council passed a tough resolution against their country.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution that demanded Syria cooperate fully with U.N. investigators looking into the Feb. 14 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The resolution, co-sponsored by the United States, Britain and France, warned that "further measures" were possible if Syria didn't give full assistance to the U.N. probe headed by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis. In an initial report to the Security Council, Mehlis concluded Hariri could not have been killed without the complicity of Syrian and Lebanese intelligence, and accused the Syrian government of co-operating with the investigation only to a "limited degree."

About 300 people took part in Tuesday's protest. It was organized by a private group called the Syrian Committee for Public Relations, but it must have received state authorization as spontaneous demonstrations are extremely rare in tightly controlled Syria.

The head of the organizers, Nizar Mayhoub, said the demonstration was intended to protest the pressure on Syria - which is at its heaviest in decades - as well as to demonstrate against what he called intervention in Syria's internal affairs and the "politicization" of the Mehlis report, the AP reports.

Photo: the AP


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