Thursday, June 23, 2011

Syrian embassy accused of threatening protesters in UK

UK activists say Assad agents have visited and intimidated them at home as campaigners fear for their Syrian families' safety

The Guardian

"Claims that Syrians involved in anti-government protests in the UK have been threatened and intimidated by agents of the Assad regime have prompted discussions between Scotland Yard and Foreign Office officials.

Syrians who have protested in London say they have received phone calls and visits to their homes, while members of their families in Syria have been threatened.

One man described how the country's secret police had visited his parents' home warning them to stop him taking part in any further demonstrations after he was photographed outside the embassy in London. Another said he had been warned not to mix with the demonstrators by a Syrian official after a protest this month.

The demonstrators say that although the embassy does not have the power to arrest expatriates, the regime can attempt to control their behaviour by intimidating and detaining their relatives, or threatening to arrest them if they return to Syria.

The Foreign Office said it had been made aware of claims that Syria's embassy has photographed protesters, and that those images have been shown to their families in Syria in an attempt to harass them....."

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