21:15 The Syria News Network Facebook page quoted a message it says a father living in Daraa sent to his son living abroad: “Around 60 buses came as security reinforcements to Daraa today. There are tanks at all the entrances. With God’s help we are going out with all the people of the Horan [area] to protest tomorrow. My son, do not be upset with us if we are martyred. All I want is that you and the youth return and finish the journey.” (Syria News Network) Read more
Widespread violations of human rights continued in Syria in 2010. The state of emergency, in place since 1963, provides a legal basis for emergency laws used to justify violations of freedom of expression and association and other civil and political rights, enforced disappearance, prisoner abuse, travel bans, arbitrary arrest and unfair trials. Human rights defenders are vulnerable to harassment, including demands from the security services not to associate with foreign diplomats monitoring the human rights situation in Syria. Read more
URGENT ACTION: Five protestors whose cases were included in the Urgent Action of 23 March were released on 24 March; two others remain in prison facing charges but are no longer held incommunicado. However, six detainees continue to be held incommunicado detention while the status and whereabouts of the remaining 79 is unclear; some or all may still be in detention. In addition, 49 other protestors are now also being detained incommunicado at unknown locations across Syria in connection with the recent protests, and are also now at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Read more
International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS has continually urged that UK and EU take a robust approach to the human rights violations of Kurds in Syria before moving on to talk with the Syrian authorities about trade and international relations. Syria has been welcomed into the international community whilst the human rights situation for the Kurdish population in Syria has deteriorated.
Sami Khiyami, Syria Ambassador in UK told the Guardian newspaper on 29 March 2011 that Syrian Kurds are causing current strife in Syria. He also told ‘Syria Today’ in March 2011 that the relationship between UK and Syria was improving under the Conservative-led coalition. This very recent statement by Sami Khiyami causes us great concern that Kurds will now will be scapegoated, victimised and punished for the uprisings in other parts of Syria, in addition to the burdens they already suffer.
What action will UK and EU take to support the Kurds in Syria?
BASHAR AL-ASSAD TALKS FOR 1 HR. PROMISES NOTHING. No promise on emergency laws. Vague talk of reform in future. Blamed troubles on foreign conspiracies and satellite TV. He also warned about sectarianism and the need for stability. Many people will be disappointed by this speech.
Now Lebanon 20:20 “Massacres” are taking place in the Syrian city of Latakia, dozens of people have been killed. (Youth Syria for Freedom.)
Video of Lattakia after the President’s speech [not pleasant]
The Council for Syrian Kurds in Sweden, the Committee for the Syrian Kurdish parties in Sweden and the Damascus Declaration Swedish Committee, is organizing a demonstration against the Syrian regime on Saturday, April 2.
In Mynttorget, Old Town Stockholm, at 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must make more progress on political reforms and should meet the needs and aspirations of his citizens, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday.
“We believe President Assad is at a crossroads. He has claimed to be a reformer for over a decade but he has made no substantive progress on political reforms and we urge him to … address the needs and the aspirations of the Syrian people,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. Read more
These young people are looking for significant change for Kurds in Syria,
not this: Regime change al-Assad style
Facebook Group (most posts are in Arabic) : Soresa Ciwanên Kurd http://www.facebook.com/Young.Kurdish.Rev
Today in Damascus and Aleppo there were very large pro-Assad rallies. We are happy to announce that they were not attacked by riot police or armed thugs and no tear gas, water cannon or bullets were fired at them. No one attending was arrested or threatened and no media attempting to cover them was beaten up, arrested or had their equipment confiscated.
BOTH SIDES OF PROTEST (1): Protest in Lattakia (28/03/2011): Chanting “Peaceful” and calling for freedom. They also say that they will sacrifice for the martyrs.
BOTH SIDES OF PROTEST (2): Lattakia (26/03/2011): Police and civilians – some armed with sticks and farm tools – stand together behind water cannon used against protesters.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgevCI94gbo Read more
Peaceful demonstrators shot dead by security forces
Against the background of extreme violence employed by Syrian security forces against peaceful demonstrators, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) urgently calls on the German government to discontinue any deportations to Syria, effective immediately. “The Syrian regime is showing its true colors, gunning down unarmed citizens. That is why Germany must revoke the extradition treaty signed with Syria in 2009,” said STP founder Tilman Zülch on Tuesday in Göttingen. Read more
BEIRUT | Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:59pm EDT A Syrian opposition figure said on Monday he expected President Bashar al-Assad would scrap hated emergency laws to try to quell protest but replace them with equally harsh legislation couched as anti-terrorist measures. Read more