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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hundreds Held In Syria

More than 300 people have been arrested in the town of Saqba, just outside Damascus, as part of a government crackdown on weeks of protests, according to a rights activist.

Thousands of people in the capital had joined a demonstration against the 41-year rule of President Bashar al Assad's Baath party earlier in the week.

"They cut off communications before they came in. There is no resistance. The demonstrations in Saqba have been peaceful," said one resident, who did not want to be identified.
"Scores of people have been arrested."
The latest raids came after army units set up checkpoints in the coastal town of Banias and dozens of Syrian tanks and troop transporters were sent to the city of Homs.
The reports come as Foreign Secretary William Hague urged the international community to offer financial backing to democracy movements in the Middle East.
Amateur footage apparently showed at least 60 heavy artillery pieces being moved towards the central city, which has been a hotbed of the protests against Assad's rule.
More than 1,000 people had already been arrested this week in the regime's crackdown on the opposition protests, which first erupted in the southern city of Deraa.
Deraa itself has been effectively under siege for 10 days - with electricity and telephones services cut off and snipers deployed on the rooftops.
A military spokesman said on state television on Wednesday that the army was "on the verge of completing its mission" there.
The uprising was sparked by the arrest of teenagers who scrawled anti-regime graffiti on a wall in the city close to the border with Jordan. Protests spread quickly across the nation.
Screengrab of amateur video of Syrian tanks headiong for Homs
The protesters remain defiant, releasing a statement saying: "We must continue our peaceful revolution throughout Syria until we achieve the freedom we demand.
"The crowds are only growing in size and momentum. The government's fierce campaign of arbitrary mass arrests will not succeed where their bullets have failed," the coalition of local communities organising the protests said.
On Wednesday around 150 students gathered outside Damascus University shouting: "With our soul and blood we defend Deraa; lift the siege in Deraa".
Security forces attacked the demonstrators with batons to disperse them and detained at least two students.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called President Assad to urge him to end the crackdown.
"The Secretary-General reiterated his calls for an immediate end to violence against and mass arrests of peaceful demonstrators in Syria, and for an independent investigation of all killings that happened during the protests," a statement said.
Mr Ban also "called on President Assad to immediately grant access to the United Nations in order to assess the humanitarian needs of the affected civilian population".

32 comments:

  1. It's stuff like this that makes me realise how much I take living in a free country for granted. I think most of us do, we really don't know any different.

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  2. Ban Ki-moon! One of the few decent and level-minded people left in a powering position. ATTACKING peaceful protestors... I keep losing faith in humanity because of news like this. It's quite sad, really.

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  3. I'm happy to live in a 1st World country, our problems are not comparable to their ones.

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  4. This is as much as there are cons with a democracy and differences of opinion but we can all agree its better then this.

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  5. give one freedom and everyone wants to be free

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  6. @ChillingBull: Yea for sure, although there are plenty of people with problems(no matter how minor) in the 1st world countries who bitch and whine about them. They don't realize how lucky they are

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  7. Shit, I'm lucky to live where I live.

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  8. Great article, i'm glad i'm living in a country where crime rate is low.

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  9. situation in syria is getting messy ):

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  10. makes me appreciate the place i live in, also greive for the poor souls stuck in that situation :( ill be sure to check back here, followed

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  11. too much crazy going on in the world :(

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  12. Imo, USA should back out and let Lybians solve their problems.

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  13. i really feel for them...

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  14. This is getting rough and it's a big dillema for the West about how to act against it.

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  15. Terrible situation over there

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  16. Balls in your court regime.

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  17. I really feel sorry for them, makes me realise how lucky I am to live in Norway.

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  18. Awesome idea for a blog, will be following closely.

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  19. Very informative blog you have here mate.

    Following :)

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  20. Still don't know much about syria, I should read into it more.

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  21. The more violent the revolution... the better the democracy. Syria will be fine.

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  22. Hope those all things stops soon

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  23. Lots of revoltuion recently, hopefully in coming years the world will be a better palce

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