“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Syria's crackdown on protesters becomes dramatically more brutal

Tanks and troops enter towns and villages for the first time as scores of people are reportedly killed across Syria

guardian.co.uk, Katherine Marsh in Damascus, Matthew Taylor and Haroon Siddique, Monday 25 April 2011

A Syrian woman, who has relatives in Deraa, gestures at the Jordanian
side of the closed border with Syria. Photograph: Majed Jaber/Reuters

The Syrian government's brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations has escalated dramatically, with tanks rolling on to the streets for the first time and troops reported to have opened fire in several towns and villages across the country.

Scores were reportedly killed and many more arrested in a widespread pre-emptive crackdown that was described by one human rights activist as a "savage war" against the pro-democracy movement.

The southern town of Deraa, which has been a centre of the rebellion, bore the brunt of the regime's assault. Witnesses said at least 3,000 troops, backed by tanks and heavy weapons, entered the town in the early hours of Monday.

Soldiers were said to have opened fire at random, with snipers firing from rooftops and men armed with guns and knives conducting house-to-house searches. Although these reports have not been verified, videos posted online appear to support the claims of witnesses.

The violence drew condemnation from the UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, and the US government warned that it was considering imposing sanctions.

"The government has an international legal obligation to protect peaceful demonstrators and the right to peaceful protest," said Pillay. "The first step now is to immediately halt the use of violence, then to conduct a full and independent investigation into the killings, including the alleged killing of military and security officers, and to bring the perpetrators to justice."

The White House condemned the violence as deplorable and confirmed that it was considering "targeted sanctions" against the Assad regime.

The Foreign Office said it would not be drawn into speculation over sanctions, adding: "We're continuing to work with the EU, UN and partners."

More than 350 people have been killed since unrest began in Syria five weeks ago.

Human rights organisations warned that this latest crackdown signalled an attempt by the regime to deliver a fatal blow to the pro-democracy movement. Syria dismissed that claim, insisting the action was a response to what it called an Islamist-inspired uprising.

"We need international intervention, we need countries to help us," said one resident in Deraa, who added that he had seen five corpses after security forces opened fire on a car.

Another witness told Associated Press that people in the town were using mosque loudspeakers to summon doctors to help the wounded, as busloads of security forces and troops made house-to-house searches, causing panic in the streets.

"They are entering houses, they are searching the houses," he said. "They are carrying knives and guns."

Abu Qasim, a resident of Deraa, told al-Jazeera English by phone: "They [the troops] came in from four sides … Heavy artillery pounded the city. They used tanks to kill us. We call on you to help us and call on God first of all to help us … Senior figures in the Syrian military are leading the military campaign against Deraa."

Mobile and landline phone connections in Deraa have been down since Sunday and the nearby border crossing with Jordan was reported to have been closed. A Jordanian official told Reuters: "The timing is related to what appears to be a major security operation that is taking place right now."

Suhair al-Atassi, a leading Syrian human rights campaigner, said: "This is a savage war designed to annihilate Syria's democrats. President Bashar al-Assad's intentions have been clear since he came out publicly saying he was prepared for war in his speech on 30 March."

The crackdown on Deraa was replicated in towns and cities across Syria. On Sunday, troops loyal to the regime entered the coastal town of Jableh, close to Assad's homeland.

Security forces backed by tanks shot randomly at people after prayers, a witness said. "It was quiet, peaceful, there was no demonstration, and then the security forces and Shabiha [a Shia militia group] started to fire at people, at shops, at children, at anyone," a frantic shopkeeper told the Guardian on Sunday afternoon.

Adding that people were now trying to hide inside buildings, he said: "We don't yet know how many are dead and injured but we are scared, very scared. We are peaceful, every area of the town is peaceful, we did not provoke this." Wissam Tarif, the executive director of the human rights organisation Insan confirmed that there had been at least 13 deaths in Jableh, although he said he had not been able to contact anyone in the town since Sunday.

Further assaults were reported in a ring of villages and towns in the rural area around Damascus. Douma, Daraya and Moadamiya were caught up in the violence. In the nearby town of Saqba, a human rights monitor said that people were being loaded into the back of army trucks and taken away.

In Moadamiya, pleas for help were ringing out from the mosques and there were reports that Kisweh, another town near Damascus, was being surrounded by tanks on Monday afternoon.

Activists have also reported that Daraya, another small town in the rural band around the capital, was being closed off on Monday evening.

Radwan Ziadeh, a US human rights activist in the town, said: "I heard there were checkpoints but the tanks were two kilometres from Daraya, near to Moadamiya. But I am now hearing that the internet is cut and that the roads are being closed."

There were also unconfirmed reports of security forces firing at people in towns close to Bosra, a tourist city with a Roman amphitheatre close to the border with Jordan.

A member of the Union of Democratic (Kurdish) Youth said Aleppo, Syria's second city, in the west of the country, had been quiet, but that some groups were trying to start protests. "There is a very, very, extensive security and intelligence presence everywhere in Aleppo and they crack down on any protest as soon as it starts," he said.

As the brutality of the crackdown increased, there were reports of some small-scale defections within the Syrian army. In Deraa, a battalion commander was reported to have clashed with other sections of the security forces as he tried to protect wounded civilians. A Syrian activist, Malath Aumran, said the commander was later arrested.

However, analysts said it was unlikely that the higher echelons of the army, which are dominated by Assad loyalists drawn mainly from the president's Alawite sect, would turn against the regime.

"The system is too strong to collapse easily," said one political analyst, who asked for anonymity. "The 4th battalion is effectively a private army which strikes fear into Syrians. The rest of the army is conscripts, some of whom may defect. But how many of them will dare to say no when the commander is a member of the regime?"

In Damascus, Syrian activists watched the latest crackdown with dismay and outrage. "They believe they can finish it once and for all," said one, who also asked to remain anonymous. "It is unbearable."

Katherine Marsh is the pseudonym of a journalist working in Syria.

Related Articles:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.