Sunday, April 10, 2011

New protests suppressed in Syria

City Deraa in southern Syria had another day of demonstrations, Friday, April 8, when the protest movement unprecedented regime of Bashar al-Assad has now lasted almost a month. Syrian forces have fired live bullets to disperse several millers of protesters, killing at least seven dead and dozens injured, according to an activist human rights based in Cyprus.

Reached by telephone by the, the activist said that members of security forces dressed in civilian clothes opened fire. A witness on the spot, quoted anonymously, confirmed that "there were snipers on the terraces." As is often the case since the beginning of the protest movement, the media close to the government have put forward a different balance, suggesting the presence of "saboteurs and conspirators" who opened fire on residents and security forces.

"The Syrian television showed live pictures of armed men opened fire on the crowd, police and security forces in the city of Deraa when worshipers after Friday prayers were going to gather in the center of the city, "said the official SANA news agency, citing a report of two deaths - a member of the security services and an ambulance - and dozens of civilians, police and security officers wounded.

Over a hundred people were killed in the crackdown on demonstrations and dozens of others were arrested across the country, according to human rights organizations of human rights. In the north, nearly 3 000 people also demonstrated in five localities, including in particular the Kurdish areas in favor of abolishing the emergency law and the release of prisoners.

These new events, organized by groups active on the Internet under the generic name of "Friday the perseverance," seem to have gathered the largest crowds since the beginning of the protest movement. "More than 2,000 people, Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians (Christians) have demonstrated in Qamishli after Friday prayers and hundreds of Kurds marched through the streets of Hassake, Amouda Deirbassiyé Derek and demanding the release prisoners and the abolition of emergency law, "said Radif Mustafa, chairman of the Kurdish Human Rights.

In Damascus, Sunni Muslims have been beaten by police on leaving Rifai mosque in the neighborhood of Kfar Souseh. These events take place in the aftermath of a decree that ended a dispute half a century naturalizing tens of thousands of Kurds. A Duma, 15 km north of Damascus, committees of people were checking the identities of the demonstrators and made sure they carried no weapons.

According Radif Mustafa, an agreement was concluded between the authorities and the protesters that they can emerge without the intervention of security forces. "This agreement is respected for the moment," he said. The lifting of emergency laws is also one of the main demands of the movement.

President al-Assad has ordered a commission to develop an anti-terrorism legislation intended to substitute for the state of emergency, but his opponents say that the state ultimately will have the same prerogatives. The change of prime minister was not enough to satisfy critics in a country where the government has only a minor influence.

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