Syria has been living under an Emergency law since 1963. The law was lifted last week and people were allowed to protest peacefully. Some likened it to paradise, their voice finally heard on the street.
The move was complicated and political, forced by pressure on the international community’s part as well as scenarios from the not-too-distant Egypt and Libya.
Furthermore, the government gets to approve all demonstrations.
The disapproval of many demonstrations wasn’t received well. People took to the streets anyway, where they were met with armed forces. Civilian casualties were reported across many towns, sparking an outrage. To make matters worse, the armed forces fired on civilians who were retrieving dead bodies from the streets. Some of them responded by stepping up to taunt the snipers, urging them to shoot.
The footage was posted on the web, giving rise to claims of a vicious crackdown that may lead to another humanitarian catastrophe. A lawyer and human rights activist. Razan Zaytouni, contacted CNN’s Cooper Anderson and gave a report on what was going on. She insisted on giving out her name because she wanted to make a statement that she wasn’t afraid of the regime.
These are historic times for Syria, and precarious. With NATO forces engaged in Libya against Qaddafi’s forces, an international intervention may be improbable.
Syrians may have to carry their revolution by themselves, without foreign intervention.