Friday, 1 June 2012

Syria: part II

Twitter tells me that 'bloggers are uniting' today, to condemn the Houla massacre in Syria and demand a response. I'm using my lunchbreak at Exaro.
(Twitter also says it's doughnut day; twitter is very strange).

The Times has made this article free to access on the massacre: "The children of Houla were not killed by random shelling. The UN yesterday revealed that they were murdered one by one."

I've met Syrians in London who knew those attacked by the regime as well as inexplicable Assad-supporters (described as 'brainwashed' 'mad' or 'sharing in the corruption'). The first time I was aware of how terrible Assad's abuses had become was in conversation with a Libyan doctor this winter. At that time, Syria was 'the forgotten place', but she was getting emails about doctors being murdered because they were 'treating from both sides' including injured protestors.

Another friend lived in Damascus before 2010, when goons visited foreign students to let them know they were under surveillance. Long before the killings, but it was obvious that the fingers of the state went everywhere, with impunity.

This week I met protestors outside Syria's London embassy, calling for Assad's flag to be taken down and replaced with the green flag of independence.

Here is a picture showing the distance between the protestors and the objectionable flag:

The people also wanted to be photographed, obviously... But I don't want to publish the photos here as anybody can look at them and apparatchiks run all over the world.

There were about 20 protestors when I got there. They explained that British police are 'very polite' and that they are not allowed to remove the red-striped flag and replace it with green.

I got talking to a man who explained his feelings to me:

"Yesterday I lost my cousin. Yesterday, just yesterday.

"Because if you go just outside the home, and go to protest some snipers are everywhere, all over the building, government building and shooting the people, randomly."

Where was he?

"I am from Homs. He is from Homs, inside Homs.

"I am from the same city of Homs, not from town or countryside. But now Homs, many areas inside Homs, the same area, all the time, bombing, shelling, using tanks, snipers. Like war. Lots of trouble, trouble."

What did your cousin do? What was his work?

"Why? Just protest. Peacefully, peacefully. We have a lot of stories. If they're going inside the homes killing children by knives, what do you think? They never, they never ever want to give up because they know if they give up many people will get their money and they will go to criminal court. That’s why they’re going to stay and control that country and fight, fight fight fight until the last person. It’s very difficult. People are now asking for a no fly but I didn’t hear any country saying, we cannot do that. It’s very bad."

He said. "I wrote this –"

And showed me pictures that his cousin took of happy, smiling gatherings: "We have hope."