Home > Al-Assad, Ba'ath Party, Government, Politics, Syria, Uncategorized > #Assad should STOP shooting at Protestors

#Assad should STOP shooting at Protestors

Anti-government protesters clash with riot police in the Damascus suburb of Douma on April 1, 2011. © 2011 Reuters

(New York) – President Bashar al-Asad should immediately order Syrian security forces to stop using unjustified lethal force against anti-government protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should investigate each shooting, and hold accountable anyone responsible for the unlawful use of force, Human Rights Watch said.

At least eight demonstrators and possibly as many as fifteen were killed on April 1, 2011, when men dressed as civilians opened fire at a largely peaceful anti-government protest in Douma, a suburb of Damascus. Two Douma protesters told Human Rights Watch that they believed the gunmen were from security services because they were standing with their weapons behind the riot police. Some of the protesters threw rocks at the police, but none carried any firearms, the two protesters said. “I saw a man that looked like mukhabarat[security services] use a Rusiye – with my own eyes,” one of the protesters told Human Rights Watch.Rusiye, Arabic for Russian, is commonly used in Syria to refer to a Kalashnikov.

For three weeks, Syria’s security forces have been firing on largely peaceful protesters in various parts of Syria. Instead of investigating those responsible for shootings, Syria’s officials try to deflect responsibility by accusing unknown ‘armed groups.’

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch

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