Syrian Government Forcing Unrest Victims’ Families to Sign Papers Saying They Were Killed by “Terrorists”
April 24, 2011 in News
Syria Live Blog -- April 24 (Al Jazeera):
Parents and relatives of people killed during funerals yesterday have been forced to sign papers stating they died at the hands of “armed gangs” or “terrorists” before Syrian security forces would release the bodies for burial, according to reporting gathered by three separate activists.
In Douma, the town on the edge of Damascus where four mourners were killed yesterday, two activists said they spoke with friends and relatives of the dead who told them secret police had required the families to sign papers stating their loved ones were killed by “terrorists” before they would release the bodies to them.
In Barza, a Damascus neighbourhood on the north-east flank of Qassioun Mountain where seven were killed yesterday, an activist reported families having to sign papers stating their relatives were killed by “armed gangs” before the secret police would release them for burial.
On Saturday two ambulances escorted by secret police had arrived at the Salam mosque and taken away three of the seven bodies, according to an eyewitness. Residents were told the secret police wanted to check to see if the bodies had been killed by their own forces or the “armed gangs” which state media have blamed for the violence against protestors.
Families in Barza were also told to bury their dead at night in an apparent effort by security forces to prevent funerals swelling into mass anti-government protests. Instead the families of the seven killed, which included a 7-year-old girl Israa Younes, buried them in the early hours of this morning.
Earlier today a funeral procession of tens of thousands marched through the streets of Douma despite a heavy security presence.
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