Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Syria: Repression continues despite Annan plan hopes

3 April 2012

"Arrests have been continuing in Syria only days after the Syrian government agreed to implement parts of Kofi Annan’s six-point plan, Amnesty International said today.

Thirteen school pupils, all male and aged between 17 and 19, were reportedly arrested on 1 April by men in plain clothes at a secondary school specialising in business in the town of Daraya.

Family members told Amnesty International that according to eyewitness, the students were searched, beaten and verbally abused in front of other pupils before being taken away. The families have no information as to their whereabouts or safety.

The families of the 13 students told Amnesty International that they believe that the men who arrested their relatives belonged to Air Force Intelligence, a security body which has been responsible for many, if not most, of the arrests in Daraya since March 2011.

The Daraya region has throughout the year-long uprising seen widespread protests, in many cases led by young activists.

There are thousands of people still in detention across Syria, many held incommunicado, in danger of being tortured, and without access to lawyers,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

“Continuing to hold people in such conditions, and making new arrests like this, raises serious questions about how serious the government is about respecting its commitments under the Annan plan."....

"But the burden is on the Security Council now to prove it has not merely given the Syrian government more time and cover to continue its ruthless repression"....."

No comments: