Authorities in Syria are reportedly bracing for the possibility of huge protests throughout Syria after the Muslim prayers on Friday April 15.
The Facebook group, The Syrian Revolution 2011, which boasts more than 110,000 followers and which has emerged as the organizing force behind the demonstrations that have been demanding “freedom” in Syria urged all the Syrians to participate in the nationwide protests on Friday to honor those killed by the Syrian security forces
“This Friday will be the day of ” persistence “, The Syrian Revolution 2011 banner read and added
“We will be persistent with our demands”
“We will be persistent with our call for freedom in Syria”
“We will be persistent with our call for peaceful protests”
The protests have already succeeded in putting more pressure on the regime.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must rein in his security forces and prevent further unlawful killings, Amnesty International said today, as the coastal city of Banias remained under virtual lockdown and the army was reported to have detained all males over 15 in the nearby village of al-Baydah.
“The human rights crisis in Syria is growing by the day, almost by the hour,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The government appears intent on trying to crush all dissent using the most repressive means – shooting peaceful protesters, carrying out mass arrests and locking down areas where people have dared to call for reform. This has to stop. Syria’s President must make it stop.”
Amnesty International has received lists naming at least 200 people who have been killed since protests began in Syria on 18 March, but the true number may be much higher. Most of the dead were shot by the security forces or men in plain clothes acting alongside them using live ammunition, though the government claims that opposition “armed gangs” are the chief culprits.
“The government’s claims and denials do not ring true. They are strongly contradicted by eyewitness accounts that we have received from the centres of unrest – Dera’a, Damascus, Latakia and now Banias – which speak of government snipers shooting protesters and other use of lethal force, resulting in unlawful killings,” said Malcolm Smart.
Syria could very well learn its fate this Friday. According to well informed Syrian analysts if large-scale demonstrations break out after midday prayer in Syria’s two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, the regime will be faced with a stark choice: either crack down with unlimited violence, or meet the demonstrators’ demands. In either case, Syria is looking into an abyss.