Last Updated: Mon Aug 29, 2011 16:30 pm (KSA) 13:30 pm (GMT)

Opposition to maintain peaceful protests, calls for global mandate against Assad

Syrian opposition demonstrators living in Turkey take part in a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in central Istanbul August 28, 2011. (Photo by Reuters)
Syrian opposition demonstrators living in Turkey take part in a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in central Istanbul August 28, 2011. (Photo by Reuters)

Amid the Assad regime’s escalating violence against protestors, Syria’s opposition says that it will maintain its peaceful resistance and has renewed its calls for international aid to help save unarmed civilians from the regime’s brutality.

Peaceful protest is the right of the Syrian people and is the only way for them to express their determination for freedom and democracy in the country, said a prominent opposition figure, Burhan Ghalioun.

“If this right is taken from them, they will go back to humiliation and slavery and that is out of the question,” he said on Al Arabiya’s Panorama broadcast. “That is why they will go on with peaceful protests until they establish a democracy that respects the citizenship rights of all Syrians.”

Ghalioun argued that Arab countries can take part in resolving the current impasse by offering President Bashar al-Assad an exit plan.

“The Arab League has to take part in getting rid of this regime.”

The necessity of Arab League intervention was also voiced by chairman of the Damascus Declaration National Council, Abdul Razek Eid.

“The Arab League has to push for an international decision to provide protection for unarmed civilians,” he told Al Arabiya’s Panorama. “This is the least Arab countries can do to help their Syrian brethren.”

It is also necessary, Eid pointed out, that the Security Council send an international investigation committee to Syria, accompanied by a delegation of journalists and activists, to uncover the atrocities of the Assad regime.

“Only then will Russia and China be faced with all the facts and have no excuse to protect Assad’s regime.”

Former Jordanian Information Minister and political writer Saleh al-Qallab agreed that international protection is necessary to guarantee the success of the Syrian revolution and to save Syrians from the bloody clampdown of Assad’s security forces.

“I am all for international protection, provided that it does not become a replica of Iraq or a reenactment of the Libyan scenario,” he told Al Arabiya in the same show.

Qallab warned that it is likely that Syrian revolutionaries will gradually take several cities peacefully and that this will make Assad’s reaction even bloodier and more vengeful.

“Apparently, the Syrian regime has no intention of making any reforms and the Syrian people will never accept negotiations with this regime after all those sacrifices.”

Qallab saw in the recent Arab initiative a positive step towards the success of the Syrian revolution.

The initiative calls for the immediate halting of violence against civilians, setting a timetable for implementing reforms, establishing a national consensus government, holding presidential and parliamentary elections and drafting a new constitution.

The initiative also stipulates excluding the ruling al-Baath Party from political participation in Syria and putting all Syrian officials responsible for the death of civilians on trial in international courts.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)

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