2011-03-15 #Syria protests #Mar15 in #Damascus & #Aleppo

ImageSyria's day of rage was originally scheduled for February 5, but no protesters showed up. On February 15, we reported the arrest of a teen blogger and speculated that the patience of the Syrian people which president Bashar al-Assad was assured would protect his country from protests may soon wear thin. On February 18, we asked, Did Syria run out of patience? as a protest broke out over the beating of a man by police. Since then it has become clear that Syrians have reached a slow boil. This time, on the announced protest day of March 15, Syria was unmistakeably in the streets of Damascus and Aleppo. The facebook page has announced another protest tomorrow, beginning at 12 noon, in all Syrian cities. Reuters announced 40 protesters, but the videos below show far more.

From our previous coverage there are some reasons why the protests are necessary, for more graphic reasons see the last video below. Approximately 10,000 political prisoners are currently being held in Syrian jails. A national state of emergency has been in effect in Syria continuously since 1963 and it is consistently used to suppress and punish any dissent. According to Amnesty International's report on Syria for 2010, "Critics, human rights defenders, alleged opponents of the government and others were detained, often for prolonged periods; some were sentenced to prison terms after unfair trials. Torture and other ill-treatment remained common, and were committed with impunity; there were several suspicious deaths in custody. The government failed to clarify the circumstances in which [17 prisoners and five others] were killed at Sednaya Military Prison in 2008 and, again, took no steps to account for thousands of victims of enforced disappearances in previous years. Women faced legal and other discrimination and violence. The Kurdish minority remained subject to discrimination, and thousands of Syrian Kurds were effectively stateless. At least eight prisoners were executed."

A video posted one month ago showing why the Syrian people must protest

Previous coverage of Syria on WL Central.

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