Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Many more dead in Deraa, wave of arrests in all of Syria

Update Thursday The Syrian Human Rights Organisation 'Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC )composed a list of no lss than 32 names of people killed in Deraa. Maybe thisis no surprise if we take into account the absolute unbelievable cruelty of the events as reveald in the videos below. The SHRC list (in Arabic) is to be found here

Terrible scene from Deraa, taken by the inhabitants.

Fifteen more people have died on Wednesday in the Syrian town of Deraa in continuing violence between Syrian security forces and anti-government protesters, witnesses and rights activists said. Syrian state television reported the government fired the governor of Deraa province. 
According to the witnesses seven people died shortly after dawn prayers near al Omari mosque when security personnel tried to storm the area where protesters took positions. Later, about 3,000 protesters from neighboring towns gathered outside Daraa and clashed with an army unit known for its loyalty to President Bashar al-Assad. The army unit is headed by a family member, Maher al-Assad, an opposition spokesman said. Eight more people died in the later clashes, bringing the death toll Wednesday to 15. Overall, at least 21 people have died in unrest in the city since Friday.
Army tanks are positioned in the city, including near al Omari mosque, the opposition spokesman said. Mobile and regular telephone service from Daraa has been cut off.
According to Amnesty International roads to the town have been closed by the authorities, while security forces are said to be going from house to house detaining people and taking them to unknown locations.
Among those detained in Dera’a in the last two days is community leader Nizar al-Harek, who had been appointed to negotiate with the authorities.
 More horror from Deraa. (Videos collected by Global Voices)

Amnesty also reports a wave of arrests in the country. Based on reports from Syrian human rights organizations and relatives, Amnesty International has compiled the names of 93 people who were arrested between 8 and 23 March in Damascus, Aleppo, Banias, Dera’a, Douma, Hama, Homs, Latakia, Ma’aratan Nu’man and al-Malkiyah and remain detained in unknown locations. The real number of those arrested is likely to be considerably higher. According to one Syrian human rights organization, around 300 people had been arrested in Dera’a in the five days before last night’s attack. The 93 people are believed to be aged between 14 and 45 and include five women. Some are members of the same family. The detained include students, intellectuals, journalists and activists. Not all took part in the demonstrations; some seem to have been arrested for their activities on the internet.

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