Tuesday, May 03, 2011

In Syria, Reports of Arrests Proliferate

By , The New York Times, May 2, 2011

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian security forces have escalated an arrest campaign in the country’s most rebellious regions, detaining hundreds over the past few days in the besieged city of Dara’a and towns on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, activists said on Monday.

 Since the uprising began six weeks ago against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, security forces have sought to arrest protesters in locales across the country. But in recent days, activists have spoken of a broader campaign of intimidation, with arbitrary detentions aimed at instilling a sense of fear that the uprising had seemed to break.
“They’ve arrested people left and right, random arrests,” said Ayham al-Zoghbi, a resident in Dara’a, a southern border town that has been besieged by the Syrian military for more than a week. “Anyone between 18 and 45 they could put their hands on was arrested.”

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