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Protests break out in regime-controlled Syria after people arrested, tortured to death

Opposition activists have been arrested on a regular basis in Daraa province [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 November, 2019

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Protests have broken out in Syria's Daraa province after a young man was arrested and another tortured to death by the Assad regime in violation of ceasefire agreements.

Dozens of people took part in a protest in the town of Shajara in regime-controlled Daraa province in southern Syria on Tuesday night, calling for the release of political prisoners in regime jails.

The protest took place after a university student in the town of Dael near Daraa was arrested at a regime checkpoint for no known cause.

Another man, Mohamed Samir Hussein, from the East Ghouta area near Damascus, died under torture this week after being detained for fifty days in a regime security branch, the Families for Freedom group said.

He was arrested despite receiving a paper from the regime saying that his “status had been regularized”.

Families for Freedom, a group made up of relatives of people who have been detained in regime jails which campaigns for their release, said that the Assad regime “can never be trusted even with the people who decided to stay [in areas which were captured by the regime from the opposition] and reconcile.”

Read more: Daraa - Life under Syrian regime rule in the revolution's birthplace

They also said that they felt “disgusted at and betrayed by the international community” which they said had done nothing to stop the regime’s “brutal human rights violations”.

Daraa Province and the East Ghouta area were strongholds of the 2011 Syrian revolution against the dictatorial regime of President Bashar al-Assad. They were held by the Syrian opposition from 2012 until 2018, when they reverted to regime control following ferocious military campaigns.

Since then, opposition activists and former rebels have been regularly detained by the regime in violation of Russian sponsored-ceasefire agreement.

The opposition protest in Dael only lasted 15 minutes, as those taking part in it feared that they would be arrested by the regime themselves. They also held up sings calling for an end to the influence of Iran and Iranian-backed militias in the area.

Iran has been a key backer of Assad’s regime
since the beginning of the Syrian conflict.

Similar protests against the detention of activists broke out in Daraa city in the middle of October.

Nearly 130,000 people have been detained by the Assad regime since the Syrian revolution broke out in March 2011. In many cases, those arrested have no contact with their families or the outside world and there is no knowledge of their fate.

Fadel Abdul Ghany, the Chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights has called detention and forced disappearance “the most powerful and sadistic weapon of war”.

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