#Syria uprising: Dissidents seized from their homes
By Adrian Blomfield, Middle East Correspondent and Loveday Morris 7:27PM BST 02 Apr 2011
Suspected dissidents were seized from their homes in Syria on Saturday as the country’s Ba’athist regime deployed its feared secret police in an operation to spread renewed fear among opposition sympathisers.
There were reports of pre-dawn raids across the country, highlighting the risks faced by those who dared publicly to challenge Bashar al-Assad,Syria‘s president of 11 years, even when they were not braving live fire on the streets.
“If you are genuinely going to enact change and fight corruption, then some of the first people to be held accountable are going to be come very powerful figures close to the president like Rami Makhlouf,” said Ribal al-Assad, a first cousin of the president who is based in London and heads the Organisation for Freedom and Democracy in Syria.
“So obviously they aren’t going to want change.”