Checkpoints of the Regime and Shabiha... and the humiliation of the Syrian Citizen
News coming in from Syrian cities, and in particular Damascus, points to the increasing aggravation and repression practised by the Syrian regime towards commuters, drivers, car drivers and their passengers.
Tens of reports point to the fact that the compulsory stopping at checkpoints, which are surrounded by tanks and heavy weaponry, leads to the humiliation of citizens. Some are arrested at these checkpoints, their cars seized, and their money and valuable contents stolen. In addition, advances are made on women, and they are subjected to much humiliation. In many instances, these episodes end with gunfire from the security, especially upon those who reply or speak out against the insults they are subjected to.
Upon inspection of ID’s, those from areas which are protesting against the regime, and in particular Homs, are immediately accused, humiliated, and are subjected to the worst of language and insults by the security and shabiha. This is the same for other areas of the uprising, such as Dara, Hama, Deir Ezzor, Rural Damascus and Idlib.
The security forces and Shabiha greet drivers with insults contrary to local manners, and demand that they lower their heads and not look at them. If they do not comply, they are punished with a slap on the face, or it could even end with a gunshot to the head.
Those who are bearded or wear the hijab are subjected to greater abuse and humiliation than others by intelligence officers. The bearded man is often pulled by his beard until he ends up bent on the floor, whilst receiving hits, insults, humiliation, and his religion and God are sworn at. Hijabs are also often pulled off the head of women, whilst they struggle to defend their honour and hijab.
Driving, particularly in cars, has become a great danger in the streets of the capital and other cities of Syria in which the regime and shabiha- who do not comply with any laws, constitutions or manners- retain control. Travelling at night is an even greater danger, as it could lead to death, especially if the circumstances are urgent e.g. taking an ill or injured person to hospital, or looking for a missing relative.
At the Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC), whilst we provide the world with a glimpse of the suffering which Syrian citizens endure, even those who are silent or supportive of the regime, we cannot help but be shocked at the continuous silence which has prevailed over the United Nations and its organisations which defend general freedoms and human rights, including the right of humans to move freely within and out of their own city and country. This right is contained within international conventions and within the Syrian constitution. Once again, SHRC expresses its shock at the UN’s silence towards the crimes being committed by the Syrian regime and its shabiha (and its violations of freedoms, cultural practises and religion), and the lack of measurements taken in order to put an end to them.
Syrian Human Rights Committee