Brutal Assad Regime in Syria Cracks Down On Protesters
President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath Party government, never famous for respecting human rights and freedom of speech, has taken its brutality to new depths in its attempts to suppress the six week old Syrian uprisingin the southern city of Deraa, the epicenter for the present uprising in the country.
People all over Syria are coming out in unprecedented support of protestors against the harsh regime in spite of being at the receiving end of a brutal government crackdown on them. Syria was once a place where people lived in fear of speaking out against President Assad’s regime. According to conservative estimates, the death toll stands at 62 but human rights organizations are certain that it is set to rise. This adds to the approximately 500 people who have died in the country ever since the Syria has been racked by anti-government protests and violence starting just over a month ago.
People are terrified to step out of their homes even to get basic necessities or medical help because of the presence of trigger happy soldiers on the streets and snipers on the roof tops. People have even been too afraid to remove the dead bodies from the streets and the dead remain lying in the streets because of this. According to witnesses who have managed to slip out of the country it is very common to see bloodstains on the roads. The authorities pick up people suspected of being involved with the uprising and hold them as political prisoners.
The Assad government seems to have recognized the severity of the situation since world opinion is clearly against it. The Cabinet met to abolish the state emergency in place since 1963. However, this seems to be fueling public rage rather than calming it especially considering the fact that government forces persist in firing live ammunition into crowds of people in order to disperse them. Bullet-ridden bodies have shown up in the hospitals.
The entire country is convulsed by immense demonstrations and thousands of soldiers are visible on the streets of Damascus, Homs, Banias and Latakia as well as the cities of Raqqa, Hama and Qamishli in the north in order to control the anti-government protestors. It remains to be seen if the international community can put enough pressure on the regime to make it yield and tone down the brutality in addition to lifting existing restrictions on the press. The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has already condemned the violent government suppression in Syria. The European Union have agreed to impose an arms embargo and the United States is considering sanctions against Syria. This past week some 200 members of the Baath Party resigned in protest against the violent suppression of the citizens of Syria.