News / Middle East

Syrians Defy Crackdown at Defiant Protest March

A Syrian municipality worker sprays water at a burnt car that was set on fire by Syrian anti-government protesters, in the southern city of Deraa, Syria, March 21, 2011
A Syrian municipality worker sprays water at a burnt car that was set on fire by Syrian anti-government protesters, in the southern city of Deraa, Syria, March 21, 2011

Syrian demonstrators in the restive southern city of Deraa held a defiant march Monday after a deadly government crackdown failed to stop three previous days of mass protests.

Riot police chased the small group away without casualties, but traces of earlier, larger demonstrations remained - including burned-out and looted government buildings, torched vehicles and the damaged office of the ruling Baath party.

A rights activist said an 11-year-old boy died Monday after suffering tear gas inhalation a day earlier. Thousands of people had rallied in Deraa Sunday, demanding political freedoms, an end to corruption, the release of political prisoners and trials for security personnel who fired at protesters.

The unrest began Friday after security forces opened fire on civilians taking part in a peaceful protest in Deraa to demand the release of 15 children detained for writing protest graffiti. Over the next two days, authorities sealed the city, allowing people out but not in as thousands of enraged protesters demonstrated and rioted.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said Monday reports indicate the Syrian government "has used disproportionate force against civilians, and in particular against demonstrators and mourners in Deraa." He said the U.S. calls on the Syrian government to allow peaceful protests.

U.S.-based rights group Human Rights Watch called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to stop live fire and what it calls "excessive force" against protesters.

The group said Monday that Damascus has shown "no qualms" about shooting its own citizens for speaking out. It said Syrians have shown "incredible courage" in daring to protest publicly against what the rights group described as "one of the most repressive governments in the region."

Syrian authorities denied responsibility for the violence, blaming it instead on "trouble makers."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs