Syrian Mass Grave Found Following Brutal Clampdown
Monday witnessed the discovery of a mass grave in Dera’a, Syria, following the brutal clampdown which has been going on for two long months against pro-democracy protestors who are calling for the downfall of Bashar Assad, Syria’s president.
Emboldened by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, Syria’s unrest first erupted in Damascus on March 15 but was put down and soon spread to Dera’a and across the country.
Authorities immediately barricaded off the mass grave area to prevent residents from recovering the bodies. Calling on the international community and civil society to pressure the Syrian regime to stop the brutal repression of its people, activists stress that the Syrian regime must be held accountable for the crimes committed against unarmed citizens.
No official numbers have been announced and Syrian authorities have not verified the discovery and have sealed off the country to foreign journalists. Fears arise that dozens more casualties may be lying in nearby fields and families have been unable to access the region, which is encircled by security troops and snipers.
According to reports by the National Organization for Human Rights, violence in the southern villages has killed at least 34 people in the past five days. More than 850 people, including women and children, have been killed and at least 8,000 arrested as security forces crack down on the protest movements.