Protests in Hama
Photo: EPA
Assad feeling the heat
Photo: MCT

Syrian AG quits on YouTube

Adnan al-Bakkour says resignation due to security forces killing of 72 jailed protesters and activists at Hama's central jail on eve of July 31 military assault on city; claims at least another 420 people were killed in operation and buried in mass graves in public parks

Syrian forces raided houses in Hama for the second day on Thursday, residents said, hours after the city's attorney general declared on YouTube he had resigned in protest against bloody repression of street demonstrations.


The attorney-general of Hama said he had resigned because security forces killed 72 jailed protesters and activists at Hama's central jail on the eve of the military assault on the city on July 31. He said at least another 420 people were killed in the operation and were buried in mass graves in public parks.


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"I, Judge Adnan Mohammad al-Bakkour, Hama province Attorney-General, declare that I have resigned in protest of the savage regime's practices against peaceful demonstrators," Bakkour said in the video released by activists.


An independent lawyer said the person in the video was Bakkour, who also denied reports by state media that he had been kidnapped by armed groups this week.


If confirmed, Bakkour's resignation would be the first high profile defection in the uprising against Assad. The United Nations says more than 2,000 civilians have been killed since protests began in March.


Protests in Hama (Photo: EPA)
Protests in Hama (Photo: EPA)


Meanwhile, residents of Hama said security police and state militiamen, known as shabbiha, raided houses overnight in the al-Sabouniya and al-Marabet districts, after troops backed by tanks arrested dozens in two other neighborhoods of the city the night before.


"The inhabitants are responding by shouting 'God is greatest' from windows and rooftops. Tonight there are more random raids as opposed to what the army did yesterday, which is go into specific houses looking for suspected activists on a list," Haidar, a local activist, told Reuters by phone.


Syrian forces mounted a 10-day operation in the city at the beginning of August and arrested hundreds of people.


France condemns crackdown

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday that Assad had committed "irreparable" damage and that France and its partners would do everything possible to "help the Syrian people's aspirations to freedom and democracy".


Syrian President Bashar Assad has repeatedly said he is fighting agents of what he calls a foreign plot to divide Syria. Authorities blame "armed terrorist groups" for most of the bloodshed and say more than 500 soldiers and police have been also killed.


Syrian authorities have expelled foreign media making it difficult to verify events in the country.


In the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, local activists said a six year old girl, Rama Khilyawi, was killed and her mother wounded when shabbiha militiamen fired rifles in al-Joura neighbourhood to prevent protests after evening prayers.


Several hundred women clad in black also marched in the southern city of Deraa, carrying placards calling for the downfall Of Assad.




פרסום ראשון: 09.01.11, 10:04
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