Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bashar Al-Assad promised a general amnesty but not convincing

Even as repression continues in Syria, President Bashar Al-Assad has declared Tuesday, "a general amnesty for all crimes committed before May 31, 2011," said the official news agency SANA. This gesture on "all political prisoners and members of the Muslim Brotherhood," was immediately deemed "insufficient" and arriving "too late" by the opposition gathered in the seaside resort of Antalya (southern Turkey) and calling for the resignation of President Bashar Al-Assad.

Earlier in the day, Damascus had sketched another sign of openness by announcing the opening of the next forty-eight hours of a national dialogue with the opposition. The "Committee for National Dialogue" should be formed by Thursday with members of "all political movements, and political figures, economic and society," said Mohammed Said Bkheitane, number 2 of the Baath party, the daily Al-Watan.

However, he dismissed outright on the balance of return of the Baath Party, which under the Constitution, "is head of state and society", inviting opponents to abolish this clause, winning a majority in Parliament. Legislative elections, the third since President Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father Hafez al-Assad in July 2000, are planned in the coming weeks.

This is not the first time that the Syrian regime demonstrated openness in response to democracy demonstrations that have shaken the country since March 15. Already in April, Mr. Assad had lifted the state of emergency in force for decades. But this did not prevent the continuation of the bloody crackdown.

In recent weeks, the authority has sent the army into several cities, including Tall Kalakh (150 km northwest of Damascus), Homs (Central), Banias (Northwest) and Dera (South), outbreaks of revolt. According to human rights organizations of human rights, more than 1100 civilians were killed and at least 10 000 people were arrested in the country since the start of the protest movement.

Thus, the Syrian army continued Tuesday for the third consecutive day, its combing operations in the city of Rastan, near Homs in central Syria. "From Machine-gun fire were heard in Rastan. Cordon and search operations are continuing," told the activist human rights. "Explosions were heard this morning in Rastan.

Rastan is fully insulated and many people were injured in this city," said the activist, saying "the army tanks surround Rastan and Transport armored personnel are stationed inside the city. " In addition, residents attacked a police station in the city and seized weapons after the death Sunday of a little girl and ten other civilians in the region of Homs, said the activist.

A Talbisseh, "tens of wounded are in agricultural land in the north of this city, but the medical teams can not rescue them because of continuing military operations in this region," he added. Since Sunday at dawn, dozens of tanks and surrounded Rastan Talbisseh and the village of Teir Maaleh, to quell the protest in the vicinity of Homs, third largest city 160 km north of Damascus.

Moreover, in the night and at dawn, "the security forces have invested and conducted search operations at Hiraki," a town in the area of Dera, bastion of protest against the regime of President Bashar Al- Assad said the activist. Paris, for his part condemned "with the utmost firmness the indiscriminate violence and brutal continue to use the Syrian security services." France "is appalled by the testimony credible reports of torture in Syrian prisons used against peaceful protesters," said the spokesman of Foreign Ministry, citing the young Hamza Al-Khatib as a "symbol" of these acts .

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