Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

HIGH PROFILE

Justine Dupont, surfer

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shocking revelations on South Korean ferry disaster provokes scathing editorials

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Peugeot-Citroën hopes for sales boost at Beijing auto show

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over 'shoe-shine scandal'

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - April 18th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - April 18th, 2014

Read more

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

  • Boston readies for first marathon since bombings

    Read more

  • S.Korea president says captain’s action akin to ‘murder’

    Read more

  • Deadly shootout in eastern Ukraine threatens Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

Middle east

Syrian anti-Assad activists urge nationwide protests

©

Video by Siobhán SILKE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-30

Syrian anti-government activists are calling for mass popular protests Friday, to show visiting Arab League observers that oppression in Syria continues. This comes a day after government forces reportedly killed 25 protesters.

REUTERS - Opposition activists urged people to take to the streets on Friday, the main day of protest in the revolts that have swept the Arab world, to convince Arab League peace monitors to pay attention to their plight.

The Arab League mission to verify whether President Bashar al-Assad is keeping to a pledge to end the crackdown on a nine-month pro-democracy uprising has so far failed to bring a reduction in violence.

Government security forces shot dead 25 people on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. They opened fire on protests in cities around the country, also wounding about 100 people.

Six were killed in Hama, a centre of unrest, and four more were killed when security forces fired at a street rally in Douma, a Damascus suburb, the British-based Observatory said.

Activists contacted by telephone said they had little hope the Arab League monitors would protect them but they still aimed to bring people out into the streets after Friday prayers.

“We know that just because they are here, it doesn’t mean the bloodshed will stop. But at least they will see it,” said one activist in Hama, who was unwilling to give his full name.

“We have plans for big protests tomorrow,” said another activist in the town of Idlib, although he declined to go into details.

Most foreign journalists are banned from the country, making it impossible to verify the reports on the ground.

The United Nations says more than 5,000 people have been killed in the nine months of protests against Assad and the Arab League monitors are part of efforts to ease the bloodshed.

Some 150 monitors in total are expected to enter Syria by the end of the week.

But anti-Assad activists have said the monitoring mission is too small and easily restricted by state security escorts that many protesters are afraid to approach.

Questions have also been raised about the chief of mission, a Sudanese general whose government has defied an international war crimes tribunal over bloodshed in Darfur.

A Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Arab monitors were getting “all the facilities they need” to assess the crisis.

Monitors aim to check conditions in the turbulent cities of Deraa, Hama and Idlib, which lie along a 450-km (280-mile) arc from the south to the north of Syria.

In Hama, activists said on Thursday protesters went out into the streets to await the Arab League delegation as security forces deployed in strength in the area.

“People really hope to reach the monitors. We do not have much access to the team. The people stopped believing anything or anyone now. Only God can help us now,” said Abu Hisham.

Hama has a resonance for Syrians opposed to Assad. His late father ordered a massacre of up to 30,000 people there in 1982 to put down an Islamist insurrection.

Syria says of the current protests that it is fighting Islamist militants steered from abroad who have killed over 2,000 of his security force.

Date created : 2011-12-30

  • SYRIA

    Troops fire tear gas on rally as monitors visit Homs

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Sudanese general’s past casts shadow on Arab League mission

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Arab League observers arrive in Damascus

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)