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Archive for April 8, 2011

UK Foreign Secretary condemns the killing of demonstrators by the Syrian security forces


United Kingdom Foreign secretary William Hague called on the Syrian Government to uphold its responsibility to protect demonstrators and respect the right of peaceful protest and free speech.

Foreign secretary William Hague said:

I am deeply concerned by the continuing deaths and violence in Syria, including in Deraa earlier today.  I condemn the killing of demonstrators by the Syrian security forces.

The Syrian Government must uphold its responsibility to protect demonstrators and respect the right of peaceful protest and free speech.  The Syrian Government should address the legitimate demands of the Syrian people.  Political reforms must be brought forward and implemented without delay

Further information

Statement from Syrian residing in the U.S. and Canada #Syria


For Immediate Release

Statement from Syrian residing in the United State and Canada

After more than 58 years of living under one of the worst totalitarian regimes in the world, the Syrian people have raised up to express their aspirations for freedom, self-determination and democracy in peaceful demonstrations. The world has been shocked by the Baath party regime’s response to these demonstrations, and by their public threats to eliminate all opponents using any means.  Since the beginning of the protests on Mar 15th the unarmed demonstrators have been exposed to excessive force including the use of live ammunition to murder innocent demonstrators and citizens. We, the sons and daughters of Syria residing in the United States and Canada, as we pray for the souls of the martyrs and salute the struggle of our Syrian people for the sake of their legitimate rights, announce the following:

1. Baath party and all its cronies have no legitimacy, and are in no way entitled to remain in power.

2. We call for the complete and swift condom nation application of United Nations Security Council.

3. We give our complete support for the Mar 15th Revolution represented by the Syrian youth.

4. We call on all of the EU nation and the United State and Canada to stop their recognition of the Baath party and all its cronies and we call on them to ask all of their allies and friend to reframe from getting involve in the Syrian internal affairs, farther more to cease the support to the current ruling party.

5.  We call on all governments and international organizations to provide support and urgent humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, who have been exposed to unprecedented war crimes at the hands of Baath regime, their children, his cronies.

7. We call on the American government, the Canadian government, Syria’s neighboring

countries, the international community, and all of the international organizations to take

steps to minimize legal and procedural obstacles that hinder relief organizations so that

they may provide urgent humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.

Long live Syria, united, free, sovereign and democratic.

For any information please email        Syrianetf@gmail.vom

On Facebook and Twitter, spreading revolution in #Syria


Social networks are playing a central role in fueling protests in Syria, where demonstrations Friday were the largest since anti-Assad activists took to the street last month.

Beirut, Lebanon

Five years ago, Malath Aumran was a normal young Syrian man with little interest in politics and, like millions of his fellow countrymen, a passive supporter of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

But a brutal act of violence set him on a path of political activism that today has turned him into an exile hiding in Beirut. Now, surrounded by laptop computers and Internet cables, the young, technologically savvy activist is using social networking tools to help build and sustain the popular uprising that has convulsed Syria and shaken the regime in the past three weeks.

Mr. Aumran has joined the growing ranks of Internet activists playing a critical role in the Middle East uprising. Not only have they organized protests via Twitter and Facebook, they are using YouTube and Flickr to post videos and photos, often documenting government abuses, when traditional media has been shut out. While many factors gave rise to this new Arab spring, the Internet and social media helped it spread quickly.

“The regime is ready to do anything against us, including committing massacres,”

he says. “But we are telling the regime that if you shoot and kill people the pictures will be online and on television five minutes later.”

Although the Syrian government has offered some concessions in recent days, including a promise to grant citizenship to stateless Kurds and end the draconian state of emergency law by April 25, protestors gathered Friday for the largest demonstrations since unrest began last month. At least 10 protesters were reportedly killed by government forces, which have been responsible for shooting more than 100 people in a bid to quell the uprising.

An online revolution

From his cramped apartment tucked into a narrow street in east Beirut, Mr. Aumran, lean with a chiseled face and intense gaze, monitors the protests closely using Facebook, Twitter, and Skype as his eyes and ears, allowing him to track developments and disseminate information.

Foreign journalists presently are banned from reporting in Syria, meaning the dozens of Facebook pages that have sprung up since the uprising began March 18 and the daily Twitter feeds from activists have become vital sources of information that provide a glimpse of conditions in the country.

“We are using Skype to communicate because the authorities often block the cellphone lines and then we tweet the information,” Aumran says. “We have to be the journalists.”

Malath Aumran is not his real name but a pseudonym he adopted when he began his activism to avoid being identified by the Syrian authorities (Malath means “shelter” in Arabic, and Aumran was the name of his younger brother). Even the profile picture he uses on his Facebook page is artificial, a composite of 32 male faces.

“It looks like everyone but it is no one,” he says.

The catalyst that drove him to pursue the potentially hazardous path of civil rights campaigning in Syria began five years ago when a female friend was victim of an “honor crime,”

beaten to death by a relative for an alleged sexual misdemeanor that brought “dishonor” upon her family.

When the killer received a prison sentence of only six months, an appalled Aumran joined an illegal organization called the Syrian Women’s Observatory that campaigns against “honor crimes.” He bought a computer, went online, discovered the power of the Internet and then established with some friends a web magazine called Syria News, which included an open forum for civil rights issues.


The next step was to launch a campaign against the Syrian cellular phone network. Syriatel, one of two cellphone companies in Syria, is owned by Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of Assad who controls much of the Syrian economy and is regarded by many Syrians as the personification of the endemic corruption blighting the country. Using proxy servers to avoid detection and to access banned websites, Aumran and his friends set up Facebook pages and launched an e-mail campaign calling for cellphone boycotts.

“It was the beginning of nonviolent youth activism in cyberspace,” Aumran says.

On the run

By 2010, Aumran, under his real name, was attracting the attention of Syria’s pervasive security agencies. He was called in for questioning more than 40 times last year. When he was told that he could no longer travel and that he must report to a security office within 30 minutes of being summoned, Aumran knew that he would soon be arrested. He slipped out of the country in January, paying smugglers $500 to cross the border into Lebanon. Even then he was nearly caught by Syrian border police who mounted an ambush and fired shots in the air, forcing him to flee on foot into the mountains of north Lebanon.

Although he is no longer in Syria, Beirut is not entirely safe as Damascus wields great influence in its tiny neighbor. In February, Lebanese police arrested three Syrian brothers in Beirut after they distributed flyers demanding democratic changes in Syria. They subsequently vanished. The Lebanese police say an investigation has been launched, but human rights activists suspect the three brothers were forcibly transferred to Syria.

Aumran’s identity has been uncovered by the Syrian security authorities and he has received threats via his Facebook page. He claimed that fake e-mails have been circulating in his name carrying criticisms of his opposition colleagues, or linking him to Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency.

On Wednesday, a Facebook message warned that his sister would be arrested unless he publicly ended his activism.

“It was the worst day of my life,”

he says. “But how can I encourage friends and other people to take the risk of going out on the streets and then stop when my family is on the line?”

‘A revolution without leaders’

With protests spreading across the country Friday, Aumran was glued to his computer screens, uploading the latest cellphone footage of demonstrations and communicating with his sources on the ground.

“What’s great about this revolution is that there are no leaders. It’s hundreds of small groups doing their own thing,”

he says.

Tips on how to hold demonstrations and protect oneself from tear gas and batons are posted on the Internet. Mosques have become crucial rallying points, especially on the Muslim holy day of Friday, when it is acceptable for men to gather in one place.

“The people going to the mosques are not Islamists. Many of them are not even religious. They are hip hop guys who only go to the mosque so that they can demonstrate when the prayers are over,” he says.

The Syrian authorities have confronted the unprecedented protests with a mix of promised reform and violent suppression in which dozens of people have died. But Aumran says that the reform promises are empty and only a change of regime is acceptable. Despite the obstacles ahead, he remains confident.

“The people saw what happened in Tunisia and Egypt and they knew they could do the same,”

he says.

“The real change here is that for the first time people are no longer accepting fate as it comes, but making their own fate.”

RELATED: How Syria and other countries use emergency rule to quash dissent

 

22 Protesters killed in one Syrian town


Update the number is up to 17 reported in Daraa by Al Jazeera, and 22 by Al Arabia

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At least 15 deaths reported in Daraa as fresh demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad‘s rule rocks the country.

Syrian security forces have killed at least 15 demonstrators in the southern city of Daraa, amid fresh protests against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, hospital sources and witnesses told the Reuters news agency.

The deaths occurred after Friday prayers when security forces opened fire with rubber-coated bullets and live rounds to disperse stone-throwing protesters, a witness told Al Jazeera.

In the east, thousands of ethnic Kurds also demonstrated for reform despite the Syrian president’s offer this week to ease rules which bar many Kurds from citizenship.

Separate protests erupted in the western port city of Latakia, Tartus, Baniyas, Homs – near the Lebanese border - and in Edlib, in the northwest of the country. Gunfire was also heard in Harasta, a suburb of the capital, Damascus.

Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting on Friday from Douma, another Damascus suburb, said there were no security forces visible in the area.

But “it’s a new situation in Syria“, she said. “We saw thousands of people taking to the streets after Friday prayers, from all walks of life: young and old, professionals and not professionals, educated, not educated, there were some Islamists, some nationalists.

At least 10 people were killed last Friday in Douma, seen as another focal point of protests where demonstrators have set up a vigil outside the mosque.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/04/201148131548860250.html

Greater freedoms

Popular demonstrations calling for greater freedoms have shaken Syria for the last three weeks.

Al-Assad has responded with a blend of force against protesters, and reform gestures, most recently aimed at ethnic Kurds.

In the northeastern city of Qamishli, Kurdish youths chanted: “No Kurd, no Arab, Syrian people are one. We salute the martyrs of Daraa.”

Demonstrations have raised concerns that unrest could fuel ethnic and sectarian tensions in the country.

Friday demonstrations, which online activists have this week dubbed the “Friday of Steadfastness”, have tended to be marked by the largest protests against al-Assad’s 11 years in power.

In previous weeks security forces have opened fire, killing dozens.

In Daraa, people first demonstrated last month against the arrest of children who had scrawled pro-democracy graffiti inspired by the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings on school walls.

Sunni Muslim tribes there resent the wealth and power amassed by the minority Alawites, the offshoot sect of Shia Islam to which Assad belongs.

Mobile phone lines had been cut or were restricted over the last two days, the residents said.

Protesters chanted: “The people want the overthrow of the regime”, an echo of slogans elsewhere in the Arab world.

The Baath Party, in power since a 1963 coup and run by al-Assad’s father, Hafez, until his death in 2000, has tolerated no dissent and has used emergency law to justify arbitrary arrests. A prominent demand of the protesters is to repeal the law.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0H798NJWZA&feature=player_embedded

Investigation ordered

Al-Assad has ordered a panel to draft anti-terrorism legislation to replace emergency law, but critics say it will probably grant the state much of the same powers.

He also ordered an investigation into the civilian deaths in Daraa and Latakia last month.

Mazen Darwish, an activist in Damascus, told Al Jazeera that the pledged reforms were positive but not enough.

“It’s not about this problem or that problem. It’s about transforming Syria from dictatorship to democracy,” he said.

“To change the constitution, open up political life, to have free press and political parties and lift the emergency law.”

More than 70 people have been killed in the protests, which have been inspired by popular uprisings across the Arab world.

Al-Assad’s overture to Kurds who make up about 10 per cent of Syria’s 20 million population came after reports that authorities had released 48 Kurdish prisoners.

Under al-Assad, Syria has been Iran’s closet Arab ally, a major player in Lebanon and a supporter of armed groups such as the Hamas and Hezbollah.

Source:

Map for the Demo that r taking place in #Syria جمعة الصمود – سوريا جمعة الصمود يوم ٨ نيسان


Map for the Demo that are taking place

Syria Map

Witness says 13 protesters killed in the southern Syrian city of #Daraa Washington


 

By Associated Press, Friday, April 8, 10:10 AM

BEIRUTSyrian security forces opened fire Friday on thousands of protesters in the southern city of Daraa, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens, witnesses said.

 

One witness said he helped ferry the dead and wounded to the city’s hospital, where he counted 13 corpses.

“My clothes are soaked with blood,” he said by telephone from Daraa, adding that he was among thousands of people at the protest and he witnessed security forces shooting live ammunition.

Like most activists and witnesses who spoke to The Associated Press, he requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.

A nurse at the hospital said they had run out of beds for the wounded; many were being treated on the floor.

Protest organizers have called on Syrians to take to the streets every Friday for the past three weeks, demanding reform in one of the most authoritarian nations in the Middle East. The protests have rattled the regime of President Bashar Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for nearly 40 years.

The state-run News agency said a police officer and an ambulance driver were killed Friday in Daraa. The report blamed “armed men” for the violence. The government has blamed much of the unrest in recent weeks on armed thugs.

It was not clear if SANA and the eyewitness were counting the same people.  Read more…

 

Torturing the children that Rally for #Syrian Democracy


People want to overthrow the regime,  so the security agencies abused them, and they began  their journey to Damascus to receive their sentences and punishment on Mavalo. They were released only after a protest demonstration in the shield, responded to the Republican Guard helicopter that brought planes from Damascus with the intelligence forces and the police and caused the killing of dozens of people of the city. Which sparked the revolution in Syria. Syrian authorities say: that behind the protests Mendsp elements and associated third party and you want to be rewarded Nile from a position of Syria and Almmana resistant and steadfast in the face of Zionist plots and the U.S.. But the question is: who were arrested and detained children for nearly a month, and tortured severely tortured, including the uprooting of their nails.? Are they Zionists or the Americans or conspirators or Almendson ousted the Syrian regime?

Please see the link below to realize, dear brother to the suffering of Syrians over almost fifty years of Baath Party rule, more than forty years, including in the rule of Assad‘s father and son. Forgive me if the scene cause some harm to the feelings

But it is very important to see is nothing more than a minute and a half, but it reveals the suffering of the people missing from those who did not know anything about them, one of tens of thousands.

Can sum up the matter say: ten-year-old boy frightened old governor system forty years spent in the war with the Zionists. But be assured that the child and his children opened their word people want to overthrow the regime. And fall, God willing. The rules of this kind have to leave by the end of its history, and smelt foul smells and rotting.

Syrian Doctors in Northern America Petition


Flag of Syria

Image via Wikipedia

To Syrian Administration

In the light of recent events, which our country is witnessing, the need for political and social reform in Syria has become an urging matter that requires immediate action on the highest levels. While Syrians have been waiting for the promised reforms, it is saddening for us to see negative actions carried out against unarmed peaceful protesters and the continuation of unjustified arrests.

We pray for the souls of those who lost their lives in the latest events and offer our condolences to their families. We endorse the demands of Syrian people, which are instituted by the constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic. We announce the following demands:

1-We call for the immediate lift of the Emergency Law that has been in action since 1963; and avoid issuing any similar laws which restrict the freedom of Citizens.

2- We call for the immediate seize of all forms of violence against unarmed civilians and the formation of an independent committee to investigate the recent events that took place in Daraa, Latakia, Douma and other cities which had led to many civilian casualties. We stress on the government to take part in protecting peaceful protesters and not to prosecute those who participated in these demonstrations.

3- We call for all steps needed for the separation of powers. We stress on reforming the Judiciary System and insuring its autonomy and integrity; and we stress on bringing individuals involved in corruption immediately to justice.

4- We call for protecting public freedom and the release of all political detainees and prisoners who were prosecuted through military courts.

5- We stress on protecting the freedom of the press and all forms of expression; and we demand more regulation on the authority given to the security forces, in order to guarantee the protection of the civil liberties of all citizens.

6- We call for cancelling the eighth article of the constitution and lay the groundwork for political pluralism. We also stress on issuing new legislations that regulate political life.

7- We stress on taking every possible action to ensure the integrity of the parliament elections that should reflect the aspiration of the Syrian people and represent all social groups.

8- We call for solving all outstanding problems related to: the Kurds in Syria, missing prisoners, and political deportees, in order to unite Syrians of all sects.

We believe there is a great need to accomplish all necessary reforms soon to fight against administrative, social, political, and economic corruption, in order to meet the Syrian people’s aspirations and accomplish their development and prosperity.

بيان أطباء سوريين في أمريكا الشمالية

أن التغيرات التي تمر بها المنطقة جعلت الإصلاحات السياسية والاجتماعية في سوريا ضرورة ملحة تقتضي التحرك السريع على أعلى المستويات، وفي الوقت الذي ينتظر فيه الشعب السوري الإصلاحات التي وعد بها النظام فإننا نرى بعض التصرفات السلبية من قمع للمتظاهرين العزل و استمرار الاعتقالات غير المبررة

إننا إذ نترحم على شهداء الأبرار و نعزي أهلنا بهم نؤكد على تأييدنا لمطالب الشعب السوري المشروعة والتي كفلها الدستور لهم، ونعلن دعمنا المطالب التالية

1-العمل على رفع حقيقي لقانون الطوارئ المفروض منذ 1963 فوراً وعدم استصدار أية قوانين بديلة أو مماثلة تحد من حريات المواطنين.

2- الوقف الفوري لكافة أشكل العنف ضد المدنيين العزل وتشكيل لجنة مستقلة تقوم بالتحقيق في الأحداث الأخيرة التي شهدتها المحافظات السورية. كما نطالب الحكومة باتخاذ كافة الإجراءات اللازمة لضمان حماية المتظاهرين السلميين وعدم مقاضاتهم أمام المحاكم العرفية و تنظيم عمل الأجهزة الأمنية لضمان حقوق المواطنين

3- إتخاذ كافة الإجراءات لضمان فصل السلطات ولإصلاح جهاز القضاء السوري و ضمان نزاهته واستقلاليته. ومحاسبة المتورطين بأعمال الفساد أمام المحاكم المختصة.

4- نطالب الحكومة بإطلاق الحريات العامة والإفراج عن كافة معتقلي الرأي وكل المدنيين الذين تمت محاكمتهم أما المحاكم العسكرية تحت قانون حالة الطوارئ المعلن منذ 1963.

5- إطلاق حرية الصحافة والتعبير بكل أشكاله وإصدار قانون جديد للإعلام. وتنظيم عمل الأجهزة الأمنية لضمان حقوق المواطنين .

6- إلغاء المادة الثامنة من دستور الجمهورية العربية السورية وضمان التعددية السياسية عبر استصدار قانون عصري ينظم الحياة السياسية وعمل الأحزاب.

7- ضمان انتخابات برلمانية نزيهة تعكس تطلعات الشعب السوري و تمثل مختلف الشرائح.

8- تصفية كافة الملفات العالقة والمتعلقة بقضايا المهجرين و الأكراد و المفقودين والمبعدين السياسيين؛ وإجراء مصالحة وطنية تاريخية تؤسس لممارسة سياسية سليمة قائمة على المساواة والعدالة الاجتماعية.

إننا نؤكد على ضرورة الإسراع بتحقيق كافة الإصلاحات بشكل فوري ومحاربة الفساد الإداري والاجتماعي والسياسي والاقتصادي في بما يلبي طموحات الشعب السوري ويحقق لهم التطور والازدهار.

إن نريد إلا الإصلاح ما استطعنا، وما توفيقنا إلا بالله.

الموقعون على البيان:

أطباء سوريين في أمريكا الشمالية

Syrian Doctors in Northern America

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

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