Jumblatt urges Assad to implement radical changes


Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt who recently switched alliance from March 14 to Syria urged Syrian President Bashar Assad in his weekly editorial to take “immediate measures in implementing radical change to confront the challenges facing Syria.”

Jumblatt described Assad in his PSP’s al-Anbaa weekly editorial as courageous and said : “These changes will help fulfill the people’s legitimate demands and prevent Syria from falling victim to division.”

“Syria is passing through an historic phase that will not only have repercussions on its internal scene, but Lebanon and the region,” he noted.

Jumblatt also stressed the need to launch dialogue among all factions in Syria, away from violence.

Jumblatt in his appeal to Assad also told him: “This is not the first time you faced challenges . You faced many challenges during the past few years and you had the courage to overcome them”

Assad is reportedly determined to crush the 2 month old revolt, which is the gravest challenge to his family’s 40-year-old ruling dynasty.

More than 926 protesters have reportedly been killed and thousands have been jailed since the uprising began according to human rights groups.

In addition Syria is witnessing a campaign of mass arrests since the uprising began . More than 7,000 Syrians were arbitrarily detained and thrown into prisons, according to a count by activists who contacted detainees’ family and friends. The majority of the detainees have also reportedly been tortured .

“Syrian security is now releasing detainees with unhealed wounds caused by torture in order to spread panic and fear among people hoping it will reduce the numbers participating in demonstrations,” Wissam Tarif, Director of Insan, a leading Syrian human rights organization, which has documented cases of torture told al Jazeera