SYRIA – AT 9:03 A.M. ET: The tragedy in Syria continues, with the outside world doing very little to stop it. The horror goes beyond the killings. It turns out that the regime has arrested tens of thousands. From The New York Times:
DAMASCUS, Syria — After Syrian secret police officers spotted Azam at a peaceful demonstration in the heart of this city, he said, they chased him down and dragged him off to prison, where he was tortured during his 40 days in confinement.
“They take people and forget them because there are so many others coming in,” said Azam, who asked to be identified by only his first name. He said he had been detained by air force security officers, members of one of more than a dozen secret police services in Syria.
While the world’s attention has been focused on the military escalation in Syria, the government has also waged an unrelenting campaign of arrests that has snared tens of thousands of people, according to lawyers and activists in Syria and human rights groups. They say the arrests have focused on two groups: secular activists, including those organizing humanitarian aid, and men and boys from the towns that the Syrian Army has besieged or has retaken from the armed opposition.
Those arrested, the lawyers and activists say, are dumped into a system devoid of meaningful judicial process or oversight, and are subject to torture.
“I’m so upset when I think of how many are inside,” said a university student who was detained in April for handing out carnations with tags reading “Stop the Killing.” “We couldn’t protect them.”
COMMENT: Please note the great interest of "observers" in the United States and other Western countries, who got so worked up over a minor prison scandal involving U.S. forces in Iraq, or who are so exercised over the American detention center at Guantanamo, which is actually a model facility.
There is now great tension between Syria and Turkey over the downing of a Turkish jet by Syrian forces. Assad of Syria says his country is at war. But thus far, no solution.
June 28, 2012