International

Syria's Crackdown: 'This Country Doesn't Run On Law'

Reports are emerging from Syria about security troops attacking thousands of anti-government protesters gathering to express anger on this 'Day of Rage'. The AP says Syrian security forces are shooting people in the coastal city of Latakia. The BBC notes Syrian civilians are furious over their treatment by police and are gathering after Friday prayers conclude today.

The Guardian is liveblogging developments, and featured 'Adnan's' story. He was detained and held for overnight and badly beaten for nearly 12 hours. Elderly men and young teenagers were also viciously attacked. Adnan says nothing stopped the jailers' beatings.

One 15-year-old boy asked me why we were there if the president had lifted the emergency law. I didn't know what to say: this country doesn't run on law. A man my age was crying. I asked him why. He told me he had heard his elderly father being beaten and he had begged them to beat him instead...They ignored him.

The BBC says protests have broken out around Damascus and security troops are using tear gas to try to drive people away.

Update at 1:34 p.m. ET. United States Imposes Sanctions:

The AP is reporting that the United States will impose sanctions on three top Syrian officials, Syria's intelligence agency and Iran's Revolutionary Guard:

The penalties to be announced Friday will freeze any assets that the officials, Syria's General Intelligence Directorate and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps may have in U.S. jurisdictions and also bar Americans from doing business with them. Two senior U.S. officials said President Barack Obama authorized the sanctions to punish repression and human rights abuses committed by Syrian authorities seeking to quell five weeks of protests.

The AP reports that the U.S. officials they spoke to would not provide specific names of which Syrian officials the sanctions are targeting.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.