Friday, May 6, 2011

The Syrian army announced its withdrawal from Deraa but maintains repression

Deraa .- The Syrian army, which since last April 25 the Syrian city besieged Deraa (south of the country), will start to retire Thursday, according to the general Riad Haddad, director of political department of the Syrian army. "It will be gradual and normal life resumes in the city," he added. Moreover, the repression of the country's security forces controlled by Syrian President Bashar Assad against protesters demanding political changes the government of President Bashar Assad is maintained and in the past two months has caused over 200 deaths, according to humanitarian sources displaced to different cities.

In the early hours of Wednesday to Thursday, tanks and armored vehicles of the Syrian army were deployed around the city of Rastan, according to witnesses quoted by Reuters said. Furthermore, in Saqba, a suburb of Damascus, hundreds of Syrian soldiers raided several houses and made numerous arrests.

The place was the scene last week of a massive demonstration against the president. Syria accuses hundreds of people to defame Meanwhile, authorities formally charged Tuesday with hundreds of "defaming the reputation of the state", said a human rights group in Syria. The charge, which can lead to three years in prison, was filed against many of the detainees this week.

"Mass arrests continue throughout Syria, another violation of human rights and international conventions," said Rami Abdelrahman, the Observatory of Human Rights in Syria. Violence and repression in Syria, for its part, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon on Thursday again urged the Syrian government to immediately end the violence and mass arrests of peaceful demonstrators.

In a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Ban spoke in favor of an independent inquiry into the violence, as reported by his spokesman in New York. Ban Ki-moon has asked the president of Syria to allow immediate access by United Nations in the Arab country to meet the "urgent" humanitarian needs of the population.

Ban is very concerned about the humanitarian situation in parts of Syria as a result of recent events and urged President Assad to allow immediate access by aid organizations of the UN, the spokesman said, according to dpa. Amnesty International said Wednesday it has received first hand information about torture and mistreatment in Syria, where, according to a statement from the organization, hundreds of people have been arbitrarily detained during anti-government protests of the past weekend.

Besides, the organization has obtained the names of 54 people killed on Friday April 29, bringing to 542 the provisional report of casualties among demonstrators and passersby, in the six weeks since the demonstrations began in favor of democracy. "The exact number is most likely higher," he added.

This high number of homicides, according to AI, was due "to the brutal tactics of security forces" who "have fired live ammunition directly at demonstrators, and during the funeral procession and used tanks to destroy residential property" . Last week, the Human Rights Council, the UN passed a resolution promoted by the United States, condemning the crackdown on protests in Syria and decided to send a fact-finding mission to the Arab country.

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