29/07/2011

Already 3000 people missing

According to Human Rights Watch, nearly 3,000 opponents and demonstrators arrested in Syria have already disappeared. To this figure that gives a chilling,  one must add the 1,500 deaths and 12,000 arrests since the start of the protests in March. These figures give an overview of the terrible and violent repression of the regime against the legitimate demands of the protesters.

The contradictory tactics of the regime  – end of emergency rule, amnesty but at the same time increase in the  number of arrests and bloody repression – have not been able to quell the revolt and the latest events show all the ineffectiveness of repression against determined demonstrators : a pipeline attack in Homs,  confrontation in  Dair al-Zour after the death of five demonstrators, demonstrations in the capital. The revolution will indeed continue « because there were too many deaths and because the repression was blind, excessive, beyond all understanding » said Ali al-Sadreddine Bayanouni, leader of Syrian Muslim Brotherhood from 1996 to 2010, now based in London and questioned by France 24.

This week, the Syrian government confirmed and signed by adopting a bill authorizing the formation of political parties in order « to allow the alternation, » according the official news agency SANA, while at the same time opposition figures such as George Sabra or writer Ali Abdallah were arrested. Without any solution, the regime is also suspected of stirring up inter confessionnal tensions in order to remain indispensable. But on the eve of Ramadan, the regime seems to lose control of the situation.

While in this period of fasting, Muslims are called to purify spiritually, including by going to the mosque regularly, these places of worship in Syria have become a rallying point for opponents to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. There should be daily gatherings at the mosque  that will therefore probably cause even more demonstrations, which in turn may amplify the repression.

We can only predict at this time the continuation of this bloody spiral. Indeed, the international community does not seem able to intervene and masters of Syria, mainly from the Alawite minority, will never give up the power because they may become in turn the victims of a vengeful punishment.

Geoffroy d’Aspremont