Australians urged to leave Syria amid ‚killing frenzy‘
The Federal Government has issued a strong warning for people not to travel to Syria because of the ongoing civil unrest there.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) says the security environment is getting worse, and there is a https://www.goldengoosesneaker.us/ very high risk of violent protests.
DFAT says Australians in the country should also consider leaving.
Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd has strongly condemned the recent attacks on protesters in Syria, which have left dozens dead.
He says violence against peaceful protesters is abhorrent, and must stop.
He also says the decision to lift emergency law must be adhered to by Syrian authorities.
His comments come amid reports security forces killed at least 12 people on Saturday (local time), when they fired on mourners during funerals for pro-democracy demonstrators who were shot dead the day before.
The mourners were calling for an end to president Bashar al-Assad’s rule, chanting „Bashar al-Assad, you traitor! Long live Syria, down with Bashar!“
Friday was by far the bloodiest day in over a month of demonstrations to demand political freedoms and an end to corruption, with at least 100 people killed, according to activists.
„What happened on Friday is a turning point. The regime has failed the reforms test. They have failed big time and proved that reforms were only on paper but not on the street,“ activist Ammar Qurabi said.
„The Syrian people are becoming more impatient with every day that passes – they are tired of promises. The people gave the authorities enough time but they are still using the policy of oppression.
„I am afraid that all people want now is golden goose the downfall of the regime.“
The protests went ahead despite Mr Assad’s decision this week to lift emergency law, in place since his Baath Party seized power 48 years ago.
Two lawmakers and a preacher also resigned in protest at the killings of demonstrators.
One of the lawmakers to resign, Naser Hariri, said Mr Assad’s security forces were unleashing a „frenzy of killings in cold blood“.
„Security forces are sowing divisions and sectarian strife among Syrians, Muslim and Christian, who are united in their demands for reforms and freedom,“ Mr Hariri told Reuters.
Rezq Abdulrahman Abazeid, the government-appointed mufti, or Muslim preacher, for Deraa also resigned.
„Being assigned to give fatwas (religious edicts), I submit my resignation as a result of the fall of victims and martyrs by police fire,“ he told Al Jazeera.
Secret police raided homes near Damascus overnight, rights campaigners said on Sunday, as popular opposition to Mr Assad increased.
Security operatives in plain clothes wielding assault rifles broke into homes in the suburb of Harasta just after midnight on Sunday, arresting activists in the area, known as the Ghouta, or the old garden district of the capital.
Aided by his family and a pervasive security apparatus, Mr Assad, 45, has absolute power, having ignored demands to transform the anachronistic autocratic system he inherited when he succeeded his late father, president Hafez al-Assad, in 2000.