Monday, 24 September 2018 17:08

Regime forces Detain Women in Eastern Ghouta as Civilians in Homs & Hama Suffer Increasing Harassment by Assad’s Security Forces

The Assad regime forces detained four women in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta on charges of communicating by phone with their relatives who were forcibly displaced to northern Syria.

Local activists said that members of Assad’s security branches deployed in eastern Ghouta had detained four women in the town of Arbeen on Sunday. The arrests have brought to six the number of women who were detained in eastern Ghouta in the past week.

In Hama and Homs provinces, meanwhile, civilians are suffering increasing harassment by Assad’s security forces who have been summoning civilians in northern rural Homs for questioning. Government employees in Hama city were ordered to relocate to their areas of origin or risk being fired from their jobs, local activists said.

Assad’s security services ordered teachers and employees from Raqqa province as well as the towns of Souran and Taibat al-Imam in northern rural Hama who currently live in Hama city to return to work in their areas of origin under the pretext of “restoring normalcy to those areas.”

Local activists in northern rural Homs said that Assad’s security forces have recently summoned over 400 young men in the region for questioning, especially by the 261 Military Security branch.

The 261 Military Security branch, which is subordinate to the Military Intelligence Division in Damascus, is notorious in Syria for the brutal torture of detainees over the past seven years.

Activists pointed out that among those who were summoned for questioning were men who are aged 50 years and older as well as former peaceful activists, former Free Syrian Army fighters, and people who had no revolutionary activity.

The Syrian Coalition said that Assad’s security services would not stop the harassment of civilians unless the regime is subject to real pressure by the international community. It stressed that these actions provided yet further proof of the falsity of Russian allegations about the provision of guarantees for the safety of civilians returning to their homes.

In mid-September, Assad’s security forces detained 11 former volunteers in the Syrian Civil Defense in northern rural Homs despite the so-called settlement agreement they reached with the regime in return for being allowed to stay in their homes. Regime forces also detained a former paramedic who used to work in a field hospital in the town of Al-Rastan.

In Dara’a province, Assad’s security forces have recently detained 40 people, including women. The detainees were subjected to humiliating questioning and were ordered to change the mobile phone numbers they used to have before the Assad regime’s restoration of complete control of Dara’a province earlier this summer. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)

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