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16 March 2011
Syria: Protests Show A Crack In The Concrete Of Government Control
In 2007 Bashar Assad ran for Syria’s highest political position, winning another 7 years as the nation’s President.  There was no surprise, he was the only candidate.
His support was astounding!  Yet reports emerged from Syria that students were being told that if they boycotted the referendum they would not receive their final grades. 
Others were intimidated during the vote by security forces, while basic electoral procedures were ignored, including officials not requesting proper identification.
As the civil war rages in Libya, Bahrain slips into a state of chaos, with today a state of emergency being declared to quell protesters, it seems that a crack in the concrete of civil control is being seen in what is known as one of the most repressive states in the Middle East, Syria.
It was yesterday after midday prayer is the Islamic nation that a group of 40 or so protesters took to the streets. 
In a video released by one of the protesters, the crowd calls for the overthrow of the Syrian Ba’ath Party, who have been in government for the past 48 years.  
It was a high risk strategy for the dissidents.  For years it’s been documented that opposition figures have been jailed, sometimes tortured.
In 2007 Michel Kilo and Mahmoud Issa

were jailed for signing a petition, calling for reforms within Syria. 

In 2010 the Human Rights Watch classed the Syrian Government as one of the most repressive in the world, having a record of jailing any opposition figures, repressing the Kurdish minority and silencing lawyers.
The small voice that emerged from the 40 protesters was quickly silenced by Government supporters who disbanded the group.

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