Middle East

Yes, even Syria

Video has emerged of a recent demonstration against police brutality and government corruption in Damascus.

According to the description accompanying the video on YouTube:

Immediately after [Syrian] citizen Imad Nasab was subject to a savage beating by four policemen thousands of Syrians took part in a spontaneous demonstration against the [Ba’ath] Regime.

The demonstrators shouted slogans such as “Thieves! Thieves! An indication of the corruption of the regime.”

They also shouted “The Syrian people will not be humiliated.”

The police were unable to gain control of the crowd, so the Interior Minister arrived to calm down the demonstrators and warned them of the danger of protesting against the regime while promising that the citizen [Imad] Nasab would be treated properly, and then [Imad] Nasab was taken in the minister’s car to an unknown place.

Then his [Imad’s] brother arrived to demand that the citizens end the demonstration, for fear of its effect on the rest of his family members.

It’s worth mentioning that the Syrian president visited this area the day before yesterday to celebrate the prophet’s birthday and the local schools and institutes made their students take part in the reception of the president of the republic.

Although there are brief and half-hearted chants (at 2:20) of “With our souls and our blood we sacrifice ourselves for you Bashar [Assad, president of Syria],” they don’t seem to reflect the general mood of the crowd.

Surely in Syria, where opposition is ruthlessly suppressed and non-government-approved demonstrations are extremely rare (especially in Damascus), this is of some significance. If I were Bashar Assad, I would be sleeping a little less soundly now.

(Hat tip: Freedom House and DaveM)