The Assad regime should immediately release all of those arrested for peacefully participating in the Suwayda protests, Human Rights Watch said. It also called for the launch of investigation into the excessive use of force against protesters on June 15 and hold those responsible accountable.
“Given the Syrian government’s brutal history, it is amazing that people felt desperate enough that they came out to protest,” said Sara Kayyali, Syria researcher at Human Rights Watch said. “The Syrian government needs to realize that so long as it rules with corruption and repression, there will always be opposition.”
“People are protesting because they can barely afford to eat,” Kayyali added. “Instead of beating and arresting them, the government should focus on addressing the underlying issues that led people to come out onto the streets again.”
Human Rights Watch has previously documented the torture, mistreatment, and extrajudicial execution of peaceful protestors in Syria, including in the capital’s security branches.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition earlier said that the demonstrations that took place in Suwayda revealed the truth of a people who had been freed from the shackles of tyranny and who rebelled against the tyrannical rule.
The Assad regime’s security forces on Sunday cordoned off the Bar Association building in Suwayda city in response to reports of the intention of the lawyers to hold a sit-in protest to demand the release of detainees.
Anti-regime demonstrations in Suwayda have been ongoing since early June with the demonstrators demanding the departure of the Assad regime and the release of detainees from the regime’s prisons. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)