The killing and the dying continue away from the cameras.
Sunday 22 2011
Sunday funerals in Homs went peacefully, in sharp contrasts to the earlier funerals on Saturday which left 11 dead. But overnight security forces raided several neighborhoods and made dozens of arrests. Reports of army crackdown and casualties continue to pour in from different Deraa communities, including: Deraa City, Nawa, Jassem, Saida and Khirbet Ghazaleh, among others.
“The only way we get information is through the citizen journalists,” said Ammar Abudlhamid, a Syrian activist based in Maryland who was one of several Syrian exiles to help organize delivery of satellite phones, cameras and laptops into the country earlier this year. “Without them, we would not know anything.”
You think you’re getting the entire story about the going-ons in Syria in a timely fashion, but you’re not. You think that our Youtubes and our stats are giving you an actual reflection of the realities on the ground, but they are not. We, the activists, the bloggers, the dissidents, are failing miserably in informing you about the realities on the ground, despite our best effort. If anything, and over the last few weeks, we have misled you. We have lulled you into the false belief that things are somehow manageable, that the situation is not as bad as it was in Libya before the intervention, but the situation is actually far worse. The official death toll according to the estimates of human rights organizations in Syria is now above 1,000. The fact that the real figures are much higher, as I have repeatedly asserted before, is not the problem here. It’s the cold blooded way in which massacres are perpetrated, and the fact that the Syrian people are watching and rather than feeling scared and intimidated, they are getting more and more angry. Indeed, this is not 1982. Hama rules and tactics are backfiring. This does not augur well for the future. The international community needs to assume a more proactive role here in order to prevent conflict, rather than wait until such time when the best that it can do is manage it.
We hope this recently acquired video give an idea of just how bad the situation has been, and continues to be.
Deraa City / Very Graphic: this recently uploaded video shows an incident from April. 5 residents were killed as they tried to smuggle food into the besieged city. They were all shot in the head. Their brains are scattered on the ground. Soldiers make fun of the scene. One says; “This is the brain of this pig.” Then, he points to the other and says “Look at this dog.” Then he shows the bags full of, not bullets and weapons, but canned food. This was the crime for which these five young men were killed. These were not Salafi infiltrators, or armed gang members, just people carrying food for their besieged relatives. Are these the kind of “mistakes” Bashar Al-Assad was so willing to acknowledge and to dismiss? Truly he is a reformer. When will the international community wake up and realize that we are dealing with mass murders here?
Tidbits & Highlights:
Eyewitnesses report a massacre in the Deraa community of Saida where army troops opened fire randomly at crowds of protesters on Saturday May 21, killing 9 people and wounding dozens.
The residents of Jassem, another Deraa community now under military siege, the residents are finding new ways to express themselves freely in face of army tanks and snipers strewn all over the city streets and rooftops respectively. Every evening, the residents launch balloons into the air have written on them slogans like “We will never give up” and “Give us freedom or martyrdom.” Then, as cries of Allahu Akbar fill the air, residents laugh as army troops and snipers open fire on the balloons.
According to eyewitness reports, a young man in his late teens from the town of Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor Governorate set himself on fire on Saturday shortly after his release from detention, where he spent 10 days for taking part in an earlier demonstration. The young man, his relatives say, was severely tortured and abused during his detention.
According to eyewitnesses, the family of another martyr from Mayadeen refused a financial compensation of 500,000 Syrian pound offered by the authorities who insisted on having them appear on Syrian TV to accuse Salafi gangs for killing their son as a pre-condition. The parents insist that security officers were responsible for murdering their son.
Another tough video
Homs / Tal Nasr / May 21: mourners coming under fire after streaming out of the local cemetery are forced to hide in the back of a truck to avoid getting shot, but one of them is already wounded and keeps bleeding and reciting verses from the Qur’an as he dies.
Damascus / Mouaddamiyyah / May 22:anti-regime vigil organized mostly by women and young girls. One young teen addresses the camera saying: “they have taken my maternal and paternal cousins, they didn’t leave anyone, even my 15 year-old paternal cousin. I was asleep, they woke me up and aimed a Russian rifle (Kalashnikov) to my head. I am just a little girl, I have nothing to do with any of this, but then, no, I am an opposition member, one of the biggest one too, and I will not remain silent anymore. They come from their parts hungry, that’s why they raid our houses, the looted and robed us. They robbed 3 million Syrian pounds from my father’s cousin, and gold. Shouldn’t Bashar be protecting us, but as they say, our protector turns up to be the biggest thief of all. I don’t want say any more nasty things, but he is then ugliest of all. He is the biggest cretin, and he is greedy. He is an oppressor, and he is the one killing his own people. He is destroying us. He says that he is going to destroy Syria just as he built, but he didn’t build it, God did… But God is Greater than all, and may He never forgive him.”
Damascus / Douma / May 22: the long besieged Damascene suburb has not been silent and still organizes daily protests calling for toppling the regime and expressing support of other besieged communities across Syria. “the people want to topple the regime”
Homs / Deir Baalbah / May 22: protesters burn a Russian flag to express their anger at the Russian government support of Bashar Al-Assad and their opposition to a resolution condemning him by the UN Security Council.
Deraa City / May 22: video shows snipers in action, using RBG and not just high-powered rifles. The lack of any return fire in each video showing snipers and army troops in action is clear proof of the absence of gangs, and that the army troops are firing randomly seeking simply to create terror and to prevent protesters from taking to the streets.
Deraa City:this video shows the bodies of dead residents and defecting soldiers being refrigerated together in a container designed for holding vegetables. This video dates back to April when soldiers from the 4th and 5th Divisions clashed in Deraa.