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Syria Explodes: 10,000 Arrested, City of Homs Shelled (VIDEO)

Syria Explodes: 10,000 Arrested, City of Homs Shelled  (VIDEO)

At least 10,000 people have been arrested in the past few days in Syria in what the New York Times calls a “mass arrest campaign.” Activists report that the city of Homs, Syria’s third largest city, has been subjected to what a resident calls “continuous shelling since Sunday,” with only a few grocery stores and pharmacies daring to open. The Bab Amro district in Homs has been under siege for four days, with no water or electricity and no access to medical care.

The BBC reports that towns around Dara’a, where the protests began seven weeks ago, have been raided and a western suburb in the capital of Damascus cut off.

Diplomats in the United Nation say that as the brutal crackdown against its own people continues, Syria has had to forego its plans to run for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on President Bashar al-Assad to “take a softer line. Calling for an “immediate, verifiable cease-fire,” he told a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday:

“I urge President Assad to heed the calls of the people for reform and freedom and desist from excessive force and mass arrests of peaceful demonstrators, and to cooperate with the human rights monitors.”

Ban Ki-moon also expressed dismay that Syria has not allowed an international aid assessment team access to Dara’a, despite Asaad’s assurances that the team would be allowed to enter the city.

Despite the clampdown, protests continue. The Facebook page of Syrian Revolution 2011 has called for daily protests across the country. The New York Times reports that, on Monday night 250 people, including university students and professionals, held a small demonstration in Arnous Square in the heart of Damascus. Following the protest, residents reported that security forces had stepped up their presence, with checkpoints and more patrols.

The video below shows police arresting people in Arnous Square and Salhieh Market.

Protests are also planned in Homs. A resident, Abu Haydar, noted that residents are planning to change strategies: “We don’t want to reveal the location of our gathering. We want to surprise the security forces.”

Al-Jazeera reports that one of its correspondents, Dorothy Parvez, left Syria aboard a Ukrainian Airways flight headed to Iran on May 2, according to Bouthaina Shaaban, an adviser to Assad. Parvez was detained at the end of April as she arrived in the Damascus airport on an Iranian passport.

Said Wissam Tarif, executive director of Insan, a Syrian human rights group says, “The big question now is what’s next. They are about to announce victory, but what will happen when they pull the troops out?”

 

Previous Care2 Coverage

Syrian Government Vows to Fight Protesters “To the End”

Women & Children Among Hundreds Arrested in Syria; Is Iran Aiding Assad? (VIDEO)

Breaking: NATO left 61 Africans Fleeing Libya To Die At Sea – VIDEO

Three Women Shot by Security Forces in Syria (VIDEO)

“Day of Defiance” Throughout Syria; EU Considers Sanctions (VIDEO)

 

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Image from a screenshot of a video of protesters being arrested in Arnous Square and Salhieh Market by nouraannan via YouTube

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9 comments

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4:33AM PDT on May 14, 2011

The poor people.

7:16PM PDT on May 13, 2011

Amnesty Int. have urgent actions at their national websites to petiton Syria to stop slaughtering democratic protestors.

8:22AM PDT on May 12, 2011

Mark - the comments of someone who knows Syria are good to see. I think you're right, Assad would be happier as a doctor and so would the Syrian people. A bit like Prince Chuck of England - he should have been an architect or green agriculture innovator.

Yet Assad chose to become who he is - he could have refused - and he could have NOT offered his country for torture by rendition. He could have refused to send troops to slaughter the people. So he put himself where he is and the consequences will be on his head.

I feel personally about this - my friend's wife is Syrian-Canadian & I've met two of the Syrian-Canadians sent to Syria to be tortured.

8:10AM PDT on May 12, 2011

I urge all to think about the citizens of Syria. It is easy to sit back and make comments of condemnation, but another to offer a hand of compassion and sympathy. Nobody in the West has a clear understanding of what is happening right now.
When I was living and working in Syria, which I loved, I once asked a resident/friend about his feelings of Bashar al-Assad, he replied that this man was a good man, but not made to be a President, he was made to be a doctor. This man was told by forces close to the family, that he would become the next President. This same thing happens all around the world, in America too. The ones with the "power" are those sitting outside of view but close to the President.
Homs is a wonderful city, it has great shops, wonderful restaurants and beautiful people. The people of Syria are asking for support and compassion right now. Yesterday I was in touch with a former student, she asked that the West think about Syria in a good way. Where would the world be without the many contributions of the Syrian people? The first alphabet was discovered in Ugarit, the beautiful ruins of Palmyra/Tadmor, the amazing Souq of Damascus etc... The President of a country and the Government are usually two very different factions, it looks like the current President of Syria is scrambling, he scrambles not for himself, but for what his family/hanger ons tell him to do. Somehow I think Bashar al-Assad would have been much happier being a great eye doctor.

8:04AM PDT on May 12, 2011

Wonder where they put them all.

6:51AM PDT on May 12, 2011

The shame!

2:46AM PDT on May 12, 2011

how big are syrian prisons? i guess if you're arrested in your thousands you may be less likely to be killed.

9:09AM PDT on May 11, 2011

You really couldn't make this type of stuff up.

8:57AM PDT on May 11, 2011

And the difference between Syria and Libya is WHAT??? Oh Yeah, Syria is big buds with Iran... Libya wasn't. Who is calling the shots in the Middle East these days? It seems that pro Iranian countries get passes while the more independent nations are getting hammerred, like Egypt and Yemen, Libya, all the places where we are supporting revolution. Why is that??? Who is making that call? AND WHY????? Maybe we should look a little closer at what is REALLY going on in the middle east. I know many don't believe in a movement towards a caliphate, but I am beginning to wonder why the disparities.

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