Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, the Syrian regime has faced all the accusations of human rights breaches with pure denial. They denied the existence of protests and the lack of support to its leader Bashar Al-Assad. Bashar Al-Assad claimed instead that protesters were saboteurs and armed gangs, and the Syrian people wanted Assad in power (no mention of the 97% anymore though).
In response to Syria’s crackdown on its uprising, and with all its decay, the Arab League [of dictators] has marked a historic milestone in its career by suspending Syria’s activities in its organisation. Before the ongoing Arab Spring, this move took place only once when Egypt was expelled due to its unilateral peace initiative with Israel in 1979 (& Libya in 2011); how times change. This is really a big slap in the face, with Syria being ‘the beating heart of the Arab Nation’.
It might be a brave move on the face of it in Syria’s case, but it can only show the Arabs fear from the growing Iranian influence in the region, or simply the delusional rising power of Qatar, or a mix of both (you can check the legal basis of the decision here).
If you haven’t watched the below video yet, then it’s the time to do so. It’s a documentary, produced by AlJazeera English, about Bahrain’s unrest called: ‘Shouting in the dark’.
It’s a film about what I call the forgotten revolution, with the Arab and Western Main Stream Media ignoring what’s happening over there for convenient reasons (apart from shy coverage here and there, and extensive coverage by Hezbollah’s and Iran’s controlled media).
Bahrain’s ‘revolution’ was plagued from start with sectarian themes between the Sunnis and Shias, without the intention of the protesters (I say). And the responses of the regime and its supporters were controlled by sectarian motives too, which make their claims against the other side void.
Two months have passed (15 Mar 2011) and the protests against the regime in Syria are still ongoing. Protests happened arbitrarily during the past weeks, but the focus was always on the ‘Friday’ of every week as it attracts more people. As it’s the weekly praying day, protestors tend to use the existing gatherings in mosques to go out for a protest; at the end of the day, it’s a weekend too in the Arab World!
Human rights organisations estimated the number of protestors killed to date to be around 700- 850. Today, the reported number of killed protestors was only 6, which is less than the long-term average since the start of the unrest. Yesterday’s Friday was called ‘Harayer’ which meant ‘free women’ and it refered to the recent wave of detentions to women, and to a firing incident against a women protest last week in Banyas. Although it was Friday & 13th yesterday, there were other reasons why the regime has not had it so good today, or in other words: the protestors have not had it so bad.
Al Jazeera English journalist Dorothy Parvaz is still detained, after she went missing 12 days ago in Syria. She holds the American, Canadian & Iranian nationalities.
Today a Syrian official has given information to Al Jazeera that Dorothy has been deported to Iran.
This is so typical: someone ‘does’ something, goes ‘missing’, nobody knows anything, no legal process applies, and even better when gets deported to another country for no clear prospect or reason.
Does this summarize the problem, in why we are seeing an ‘Arab Spring’ in the first place?