Mass arrests continue to take place throughout Syria, as protesters continue to defy the odds.
A mass arrest campaign continues to unfold throughout Syria, but especially in Deraa City where the numbers of the detainees are put at over 500 and seem to include many teenagers. The detainees are said to be gathered at the detention center near the old town. Some say that the center used to be a school until the army took over. Though reports of torture and summary executions are impossible to confirm at this stage, they do not seem unlikely knowing what we know about the Assad regime, and about this kind of situations where there is complete lack of accountability and scrutiny can develop. Add sectarian propaganda and the all too real sectarian sentiments to the mix and we have all the makings of a serious tragedy here.
But the world watches on, seemingly indifferent. Deraa continues to be besieged, denied basic services, and food and medical supplies.
There were also arrests in the Damascene suburb of Zabadani that was earlier shelled with artillery fire as well, before security forces conducted house-to-house manhunt. The Damascene suburbs of Tal and Arbeen and the city of Deir Ezzor are also among the communities that witnesses major waves of arrests and detention. Kurdish activists in Qamishly have also been detained, as more and more Kurds continue to join the protests movement and demands for toppling the regime.
Meanwhile, protests took place in many cities and towns across Syria in which protesters called for lifting the siege of Deraa as well as regime fall.
Women staged another silent protest today in Arnous Square, one of the main Damascene Square, a few were reported beaten and arrested, including a female reporter that was recording the event. But the 11 women protesters who were arrested yesterday were released earlier today, and were told to present themselves for trial in 2 weeks, although the charges are unclear.
Finally, these videos that were made in Rastan on April 29 show people interacting in a very friendly manner with army officers in their tanks. The videos were uploaded as proof of claims that were made at that time that the army units surrounding the city have promised to protect the protesters, rather than crackdown. Is this another major case of defection? Still, Rastan did witness violence perpetrated by security forces as the third video shows.