Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre: SUMMARY (31/12/2011): At least 13 martrys fell today, bringing to a close the bloodiest month since the start of the uprising – with more than 1,000 recorded martyrs. So, goodbye to 2011 – a difficult year but one in which Syria, indeed the whole region, woke up after years if not decades of stagnation. Let us hope that 2012 will bring victory to the Syrian people and to protest movements in the rest of the Arab world, especially Yemen and Bahrain, and to all those around the world who are struggling against corruption and injustice (which seems to be just about everywhere at the moment). Syria – Saturday 31/12/2011 Read more
The National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria [NCB] has announced a change in the political situation with news of the signing of an agreement between the NCB and the Syrian National Council [SNC] in the Egyptian capital late on Friday, 30 December 2011, following talks lasting for more than a month which involved a significant number of the leadership of both parties. The agreed text sets out the political and democratic rules for the transitional period, and determines the important parameters for Syria’s future which aspire to ensure that the homeland and every citizen’s rights are treated with dignity, and for the foundation of a civil democratic state.
Burhan Ghallioun has signed the agreement on behalf of the SNC, and Haytham Manna signed on behalf of the NCB, and this agreement will be deposited as an official document with the Arab League in the presence of Secretary General Nabil el-Arabi on Sunday, 1 January 2012, at 3.30pm in Cairo time.
[Comment: SKS congratulates the NCB and the SNC for persevering, and finding a unified way forward. We wish them every success in working together and with others who will inherit a future in the new Syria.]
Basil al-Sayed, a Syrian citizen journalist who lost his life documenting the uprising in Homs.
This was the last thing Basil al-Sayed, a citizen journalist in Syria, filmed before he was shot in the head by security forces: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr7865hS8LM&feature=player_embedded
According to activist Rami Jarrah, yesterday, al-Sayed succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in the restive city of Homs. He was 24.
Turkey: Clashes as police break up Kurd protest air strike on civilians 29.12.2011
ISTANBUL, — Turkish police used tear gas and water cannon to break up a demonstration in Istanbul by around 2,000 Kurds protesting against an air strike in southeastern Turkey [ northern Kurdistan] that killed 35 Kurdish villagers.
Several hundred youths, many of them with scarves over their faces, threw stones at the police and smashed police and civilian vehicles during the demonstration in the city’s main Taksim Square. Read more
Turkish war planes bomb Kurds and massacre 40 children and youth in Sirnak, South East Turkey.
Turkish war planes bombed villagers in the South East province of Sirnak, Turkey, killing at least 40 civilians, many of them children and youth on 28 December 2011. 24 of those killed belonged to the same family. A villager who escaped the air attack wounded said that the bombs thrown sucked the air away and left them breathless, spread an acidic smell and burnt them. Other villagers who hid under a large rock to escape, were crushed by the rock said the villager. Another villager said that Turkish soldiers had apprehended them only moments before the attack and then had moved away. The bodies of 35 civilians have been found while the corpses of others are still to be discovered because of the obliteration caused by the bombing. Read more
Qamishli demonstration: There are news reports coming in that two people have been injured by gunfire in Qamishli today:
2011-12-30Ciwanêkurd.net (young Kurds) - The movement of young Kurds TCK - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJQdjXrag0Q&feature=share and Qamchlo fire on the demonstrators and injuries Read more
GUARDIAN: Special envoy warns religious groups are focused and organised while progressives need support and unity
Tony Blair has called on the west to do more to help “liberal and democratic” elements in the Middle East and north Africa following the Arab spring – or risk the formation of new Islamist governments that are not “genuine” democracies.
Admitting countries such as Britain and the US had previously been “too reluctant to push dictatorships on a path to democracy”, the former prime minister said they now had to be clearer on their view of democracy “because the trouble really in the region is the more religious and extreme elements are very well organised and the liberal and democratic types basically aren’t”. Read more
This man – Mousab Azzawi DOES NOT represent the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights:
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: A Clarification by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stresses that since the start of the Syrian Revolution the Syrian regime and some of its loyalists, who live in Britain, are trying the discredit the Observatory and distort its image by launching websites using the name of the organisation, speaking to the foreign media on behalf of the Observatory, making statements that are not related to the reports and data issued by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights regarding human rights violations inside Syria. Read more
[Comment:When reading this, please bear in mind that Turkey has a big hand on some aspects of the opposition movement in Syria. Approx. 15% of the population is Kurdish.]
GUARDIAN: Since the beginning of the Arab uprising Turkey has been held up as a blueprint for the emerging Middle Eastern democracies to copy. But many observers question whether its treatment of its Kurdish minority gives it the right to be treated as a role model.
This year more than 4,000 people have been arrested under arbitrary terrorism charges, including dozens of journalists arrested last week, military operations against Kurdish separatists have intensified, with at least 27 killed in December alone, and guerrillas have stepped up violent attacks on security forces and civilians.
Mass trials of Kurds, including local deputies, mayors, academics and human rights activists, have inched forwards. In the biggest case, more than 150 politicians and activists are being tried in a specially built courtroom in Diyarbakir. More than 100 of the defendants have been in pre-trial detention, some of them for many months. Read more
Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre: Summary (29/12/2011): At least 40 martyrs have fallen today – in Daraa, suburbs of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Idlib province. In Duma people waiting for the Arab League observers were showered with bullets. 1 of the observer team told Al Jazeera today that the mission would certainly fail. With only 60 observers covering 180,000 sq km and reliant upon the regime for transport and security is it a surprise? So, the killing didn’t stop, the tanks are still among the houses, thousands are still detained with more arrested all the time. Their one success is in giving Assad more time to kill – at least 270 have fallen since the first observers arrived 1 week ago. Syria – Thursday 29/12/2011