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Syrian Islamic Council Condemns Attack on Protesters in Idlib

The council drew parallels between these aggressive tactics and the early repressive measures employed by the Syrian regime, according to Enab Baladi.
Syrian Islamic Council Condemns Attack on Protesters in Idlib

The Syrian Islamic Council vehemently denounced the recent assault by security forces on demonstrators within Idlib city, decrying the forcible dismantling of their peaceful sit-in tent and the subsequent brutal suppression of their voices.

In a strongly worded statement, the council drew parallels between these aggressive tactics and the early repressive measures employed by the Syrian regime during the onset of the revolution. It emphasized that resorting to such methods only perpetuates a cycle of oppression, a stark departure from the aspirations of the Syrian people who initiated the revolution to break free from tyranny.

Asserting solidarity with the demonstrators, the council affirmed their integral role in the ongoing struggle for revolution and liberation. It underscored their right to participate in shaping the region’s future, advocating for justice and stability amidst the prevailing chaos and insecurity.

Calling for unity among religious scholars, intellectuals, and civil activists, the council rallied support for the common cause of combating injustice and tyranny. It issued a direct plea to authorities in Idlib to heed the legitimate demands of the protesters, including the immediate release of detainees, transparency regarding their status, and an end to the abhorrent practice of torture.

The reprehensible assault on the demonstrators sparked widespread condemnation from various sectors of society, including the media, religious leaders, and military figures in Idlib. Regardless of the pretext, the council emphasized the universal rejection of such heavy-handed tactics in dealing with peaceful dissent.

Two accounts of assault 

On May 14th, members of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) forcibly dispersed a gathering in a protest tent located in downtown Idlib City. They used physical force, including batons, fired shots into the air, and dismantled the tent.

According to a correspondent from Enab Baladi based in Idlib, security personnel affiliated with HTS beat protesters near the Military Court on Jalaa Street in central Idlib and engaged in clashes with them.

The HTS members fired gunshots into the air to scatter the demonstrators, who were chanting slogans demanding the removal of HTS commander Abu Mohammed al-Julani. The protesters also labelled the HTS members as shabiha, amid mutual accusations of treason between the two groups.

The correspondent noted that the individuals involved belonged to the Public Security Department, established by the Salvation Department in March and operating under the Ministry of Interior’s supervision. This department is a restructuring of the Public Security Agency, which previously served as the security arm of the organization.

In response to the incident, the Ministry of Interior in the Salvation government claimed that the protesters initiated the violence against local dignitaries in the area, prompting intervention from the Public Security forces.

Interior Minister Mohammed Abdul Rahman stated that a delegation of local dignitaries and residents of Idlib attempted to engage in dialogue with the protesters following numerous complaints about their disruption of public order and blockage of roads. However, tensions escalated during the discussion, leading to physical assaults and gunfire against the dignitaries.

Since February 26th, there has been a growing movement calling for the removal of Julani, the leader of HTS, and the rejection of the group’s unilateral decision-making policies. This movement is spearheaded by civilian activists and enjoys support from military figures and legitimate authorities, particularly in response to documented cases of torture in HTS prisons.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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