Assad The Sadist w/video

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

A Syrian child has been barbarically tortured and murdered by Assad’s security forces. He’s now a symbol of Syrian resistance. With a thousand civilians killed, ten thousand arrested, and many tortured, Assad and his merry murderous band of Alawites must go!

CAIRO – Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, a round-faced 13-year-old boy, was arrested at a protest in Jiza, a southern Syrian village near Dara’a, on April 29. Nothing was known of him for a month before his mutilated corpse was returned to his family on the condition, according to activists, that they never speak of his brutal end.

But the remains themselves testify all too clearly to ghastly torture. Video posted online shows his battered, purple face. His skin is scrawled with cuts, gashes, deep burns and bullet wounds that would probably have injured but not killed. His jaw and kneecaps are shattered, according to an unidentified narrator, and his penis chopped off.

“These are the reforms of the treacherous Bashar,” the narrator says. “Where are human rights? Where are the international criminal tribunals?”

In Syria and beyond, the youth’s battered body has cast into shocking relief the terrors wielded by the Syrian state against its people.

Circulating in various versions, the video has injected new life into a six-week uprising against President Bashar al-Assad that has appeared to settle into a bloody stalemate of protests and violent government responses. In the days since news of the death spread, more than 58,000 people have visited and expressed support for a Facebook page memorializing the boy, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, as a “child martyr.”

Where are human rights?

Demonstrators in several Syrian cities protested the boy’s death last weekend, weaving chants and banners dedicated to him into the mix of anti-government slogans that have become staples of the uprisings shaking the Arab world.

In a revolutionary season that has seen countless “Fridays of Rage” in half a dozen countries, Syrian activists marched on a day that some dubbed “the Saturday of Hamza.”

“People are very upset about the death of the young boy Hamza,” said one man active in protests in Homs, who asked not to be named for fear of the security forces. He was just a child. It is a crime, a serious crime.

In the Damascus suburb of Douma, protesters marched through the night chanting “Leave! Leave!” to Mr. Assad while holding signs declaring, “We are all Hamza al-Khateeb,” according to a video posted on YouTube. Video from another suburb, Dereya, showed women and children demonstrating, with a chorus of young voices shouting, “The people want the overthrow of the regime.” They held aloft signs that read, “Did Hamza scare you that much?”

Hamza has become a symbol of the Syrian revolution,” said Radwan Ziadeh, an exiled Syrian human rights activist and a visiting scholar at George Washington University. His death, he said, “is a sign of the sadism of the Assad regime and its security forces.

The video pans slowly over the boy’s swollen and disfigured corpse as it lies on a plastic sheet. The narrator’s somber voice intones in formal Arabic that he is “the latest martyr of freedom” and recounts his wounds one by one.


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  1. Dubai: Social media was abuzz with talk of a turning point in Syria’s pro-democracy uprising following the alleged torture, mutilation and death of 13-year-old protester Hamza Al Khateeb at the hands of the Syrian regime.

    Many Twitter and Facebook users changed their profile pictures to a shot of a smiling Hamza Al Khateeb, as the online campaign against the Syrian regime escalated.

    On Twitter, Nidal and Joanne Binni (@FlashNewsPlus), a freelance journalist in Malta, tweeted: “#Hamza Al Khateeb’s death is going to be pivotal for the Syrian Revolution. No tank, bullet or military force is stronger than his innocence!”

    Symbol of rebellion

  2. on Assad’s crimes against humanity.

    The 57-page report, “‘We’ve Never Seen Such Horror’: Crimes against Humanity in Daraa,” is based on more than 50 interviews with victims and witnesses to abuses. The report focuses on violations in Daraa governorate, where some of the worst violence took place after protests seeking greater freedoms began in various parts of the country. The specifics went largely unreported due to the information blockade imposed by the Syrian authorities. Victims and witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch described systematic killings, beatings, torture using electroshock devices, and detention of people seeking medical care.

    “For more than two months now, Syrian security forces have been killing and torturing their own people with complete impunity,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “They need to stop – and if they don’t, it is the Security Council’s responsibility to make sure that the people responsible face justice.”

    The Syrian government should take immediate steps to halt the excessive use of lethal force by security forces, Human Rights Watch said. The United Nations Security Council should impose sanctions and press Syria for accountability and, if it doesn’t respond adequately, refer Syria to the International Criminal Court.


  3. Human Rights Watch interviewed 19 people who had been detained in Daraa, Damascus, Douma, al-Tal, Homs, and Banyas, as well as several families of detainees. Those interviewed who had been detained included two women and three teenagers, ages 16 and 17.


    All but two of the detainees arrested during the protests told Human Rights Watch that mukhabarat officers beat them while arresting them and in detention, and that they witnessed dozens of other detainees being beaten or heard screams of people being beaten. In addition to the three children interviewed by Human Rights Watch, witnesses reported seeing children detained and beaten in the facilities where they were held.

    Many told Human Rights Watch that they and other detainees were subjected to other forms of torture, including electro-shock devices, cables, and whips. Most also said they were held in overcrowded cells, and many were deprived of sleep, food, and water – in some cases, for several days. Some said they were blindfolded and handcuffed the entire time.


    Another protester from al-Tal also reported that officers of the Palestine Branch of Military Intelligence used electric shock to torture him and others detained with him:

    They beat us in the courtyard, and then took us into the basement. It was a big room, with about a hundred detainees in it, from different towns. They stripped us down to our underwear and poured cold water on us, beat us with cables, and shocked us with electric batons – those were cylindrical sticks that looked like a torch, they pressed them toward our arms and stomachs, each time for three to four seconds. The low-ranking soldiers did the beatings, and higher officers used the electro-shock devices. They were in uniforms, but without identifying signs.

    A lawyer detained by State Security in Damascus told Human Rights Watch that he shared a cell with two detainees who were tortured with electro-shock devices, and another whose legs and feet were beaten so badly that he could not move. After one interrogation session, security personnel brought him back to the cell, hung him by his hands, and prohibited his cellmates from giving him food or water, or even talking to him. One detainee recalled a cellmate who had been beaten so badly on the soles of his feet that his toenails had fallen out. Another detained in a State Security facility in Damascus estimated that he heard approximately 30 people being beaten one Friday night after the security forces had brought in a new batch of protesters


    Forced Confessions

    Most of those detained following protests told Human Rights Watch that they were forced to sign and put their fingerprints on papers without being allowed to read the document. A teenager from Douma detained for two days by the mukhabarat – he was blindfolded and so did not know which security branch – told Human Rights Watch:

    I asked, “What is this paper?” and one of the security men grabbed my head, and pushed my mouth open, and the other one squeezed my tongue with something that felt like pliers and started pulling it. And when I refused to sign it, one of the interrogators took a hammer and started pounding on my toes. In the cell, they also beat me on the face with their Kalashnikovs [AK-47 assault rifles].

    Another detainee, a non-Syrian Arab, told Human Rights Watch that he signed and put his fingerprints on a piece of paper after each day of interrogation: “I never saw what I signed,” he said. “My eyes were blindfolded. And I was afraid so I did not even dare ask read it.”

    more Syrian horror stories

  4. Hamza Al Khateeb

    “It’s very, very significant, it is uniting protesters across the country, he said on condition of anonymity. “Many people, including children, have been arrested and abused and killed by the security and Hamza represents them.”

    He said today’s demonstrations, now a regular Friday occurrence, would be held in Hamza’s name. Even if the Syrian government conducts a quick investigation and makes a public announcement, it is unlikely to stop Hamza from becoming a powerful martyr for a protest movement that, until now, has not had a salient symbol around which to unite.

    “If the government says Hamza was not tortured by the security, no one will believe it, and if they say he was, then they’ll be admitting they are involved in the murder and torture of children,” said the political analyst. “However this comes out, they lose.”

    With members of the international community seeking to increase pressure on Damascus, the Hamza case has also assumed global importance.

    Human-rights groups are seeking to have Syrian officials referred to the International Criminal Court on allegations of crimes against humanity. Hamza’s death may end up as a rallying point for those efforts.

    The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, referred to Hamza by name, saying his death had come to symbolise what “for many Syrians is the total collapse of any effort by the Syrian government to work with and listen to their own people”.

    Inside Syria there is still a debate about the case. Government supporters said it made no sense that his body would be returned showing clear evidence of brutal physical abuse. Anti-government figures say security units are so arrogant and violent they would have no qualms about such an act.

    “Hamza’s case will not change people’s minds. The pro-government will dismiss it as a hoax. Those anti-government will rally to it,” said the Damascus-based dissident. But it could be what pushes those who have been sitting on the fence to come out against the authorities, and that would be big.

  5. All internet service in Syria has been cut as roughly 50,000 protesters filled the streets in a call for “Children’s Friday” to remember the dozens of children killed in the protests, and to demand the “immediate resignation” of President Bashar al-Assad.

    A government-sponsored Web site has confirmed that the Internet has been disconnected across the country: “The Syrian government has cut off Internet service (3G, DSL, Dial-up) all across Syria, including in government institutions.”


    The Syrian protests, which began in January but have taken several months to gain momentum, hit their peak this week after a video of the corpse of a 13-year-old boy, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, who was allegedly tortured by Syrian security officials, was shared thousands of times on YouTube and other social networks.

    Protesters are also angry over the deaths of 73 other children since the protests began, with seven child deaths this week alone, many who died from shelling and shootings, according to activist group the Local Coordination Committees of Syria.

    Syria shuts down internet

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