Lebanese Strong Transparent
Democracy Organization (LSTDO)
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On Friday, 08.04.2011,
demonstrations invade Syria cities, the day of 'resistance and solidarity'.
Dozens killed by the regime military in different cities.
News from different medias:
Key Syria tribal chief hits out at regime crackdown - April 09, 2011.
dissident leader of the largest of Syria's powerful tribes hit out at the
Damascus authorities on Saturday, telling AFP in Nicosia they had a final
opportunity to avoid more bloodshed.
"There is still a last-ditch opportunity to avoid the bloodshed that the regime persists in causing," Al-Bakkara chief Nawaf al-Bashir said by telephone from the city of Deir el-Zor in eastern Syria.
"The regime needs to launch a national dialogue with the people, particularly the revolutionary youth, with a defined agenda and time frame," added Bashir, who says he has been banned from travelling abroad for the past 16 years because of his opposition to the government.
"We believe in peaceful political change," he said, adding that a national dialogue should lead to "legislation allowing the free formation of political parties and media outlets, and the scrapping of Article II of the constitution" which enshrines the monopoly of power by the ruling Baath party.
Bashir mocked state media claims that the scores of deaths in weeks of clashes between anti-government protesters and the security forces were the work of unidentified "armed men" and rooftop snipers.
"The people firing on the protesters are regime thugs and security service henchmen," he said. "They take us for slaves -- for four decades now they have subjected us to indiscriminate affronts and killings."
Security forces killed 27 people in the town of Daraa and surrounding villages south of Damascus on Friday as they cracked down on the latest in a wave of protests in the area, human rights activists said.
Three demonstrators were also reported killed in the central industrial town of Homs, and four more in the Damascus suburbs, as the government of President Bashar al-Assad faced the biggest challenge to his 11 years in power.
Bashir was a key supporter of Damascus Declaration which opposition leaders issued in 2005 to press for reform. He says he has been interrogated by the security services more than 75 times.
Government and activists both claim casualties as Daraa protests turn violent.
Saturday, April 09, 2011.
BEIRUT: A mass protest calling for sweeping changes in Syria’s regime turned bloody Friday, with the government and protesters both claiming to have sustained heavy casualties as the country’s three-week uprising entered a dangerous new phase.
Human rights activists and witnesses said Syrian security forces opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters in the volatile southern city of Daraa, killing 25 people and wounding hundreds. But state-run TV said 19 policemen and members of the security forces were killed when gunmen opened fire on them.
It was the first significant claim of casualties by the Syrian government, which has contended that armed gangs rather than true reform-seekers are behind the unrest – and it could signal plans for a stepped-up retaliation.
Friday’s protests swept the country of 20 million people, from the Mediterranean port of Latakia to Abu Kamal on the Iraqi border, entering a fourth week in defiance of Assad’s crackdown and growing list of reform pledges.
In the east, thousands of ethnic Kurds demonstrated for reform despite the president’s offer this week to ease rules which bar many Kurds from citizenship, activists told Reuters.
Ammar Qurabi, who heads Syria’s National Organization for Human Rights, said 32 people were killed nationwide: 25 in Daraa, three in the central city of Homs, three in the Damascus suburb of Harasta and one in the suburb of Douma.
Witnesses in Daraa told AP Friday that residents turned mosques into makeshift hospitals to help tend to hundreds of wounded protesters. One man who helped ferry the dead and wounded to the city’s hospital said he counted at least 13 corpses.
“My clothes are soaked with blood,” he said by telephone from Daraa. 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; many people were now being treated on the floor or in mosques.
The city’s Omari Mosque was turned once again into a makeshift clinic, residents said, and its loudspeakers broadcast an appeal for medical assistance.
The witness accounts coming out of Syria could not be independently confirmed because the regime has restricted media access to the country. Human rights groups say around 115 people have been killed in the crackdown.
Witnesses in several other cities across Syria also reported protests Friday. An eyewitness in the coastal city of Latakia said hundreds of people took part in a largely peaceful protest calling for political freedoms.
“Peaceful, peaceful!” they shouted, marching past soldiers who were deployed in force in and around Latakia where clashes two weeks ago killed 12 people. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
Abdel-Karim Rihawi, who heads the Syrian League for the Defense of Human Rights, said several people were wounded in clashes in the industrial city of Homs.
Residents said security forces used water cannons and smoke bombs to break up a 2,000-strong protest in the old quarter of Hama, the city where thousands of people were killed in 1982.
Activists said protests also erupted in the central cities of Homs, the coastal city of Banyas, in Tartous, in the northern city of Aleppo and in Tal, 20 kilometers north of Damascus.
A video posted by activists on Facebook showed a crowd of people in the Damascus suburb of Harasta shouting “We want Freedom!” and “The Syrian people will not be humiliated.”
The footage could not be independently confirmed.
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.
Protesters angered by the deaths set fire to the ruling Baath party’s headquarters in Daraa, an activist told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Assad has offered some limited measures of reform as the protests gathered steam, such as firing local officials and forming committees to look into replacing the country’s despised emergency laws.
He granted citizenship Thursday to thousands of Kurds, fulfilling a decades-old demand of the country’s long-ostracized minority. But a protest Friday in Amouda – a Kurdish city – suggested the population still was not satisfied.
In the northeastern city of Qamishli, Kurdish youths chanted: “No Kurd, no Arab, Syrian people are one. We salute the martyrs of Daraa.”
“The citizenship gesture only helped fuel the street. The Kurdish cause is one for democracy, freedom and cultural identity,” Hassan Kamel, a senior member of the Kurdish Democratic Party, told Reuters.
An activist in Douma, where at least eight people were killed during protests last Friday, said he was expecting a large turnout Friday. Hundreds of activists and residents have met this week to prepare for the demonstration. But telephone lines to Douma appeared to be cut Friday.
Activists in Damascus, quoting people who came from the suburb of Douma, said that thousands of people were demonstrating outside of the suburb’s Grand Mosque.