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Is Syria becoming more or less repressive?

April 5th, 2006 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Damascus has never been a simple city, and Syria never a simple country. But what would you expect in a country which has two cities claiming to be the oldest inhabited cities on Earth.

So when Syria reforms and cracks down on dissent at the same time, it’s easy to become confused.

For the first time Syria is covered in portraits of Bashar Al-Assad – Bashar, not Hafez. He refused to succombe to the cult of personality when he first came to power, but now he’s all over the place in dictator-like poses.

But at the same time, there are more and more adverts for consumer goods. Bashar vies for space with Syriatel.

Criticism of the government is more loud in the coffee shops and markets, but campaigners are being arrested on a scale not seen for years.

Some see the government’s willingness to crack down on a feeling that they’re out of the international spotlight – they’ve given in on just about every international demand. George Bush and Condoleeza Rice’s demands on Syria sound ever-more hollow. Serge Brammertz, the UN’s replacement for Detlev Mehlis, the UN investigator into the murder of Rafiq Al-Hariri, is far less confrontational. Bashar has even agreed to be interviewed by Brammertz.

There are more reformers in government than ever before, but less reform than at any point in the last two years.

And then there are those traffic light timers. What’s that about?


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 norman // Apr 6, 2006 at 3.41 am

    Syria was pushed into a corner and decided that the west call for reform in Syria and not in Egypt or Saudi arabia is an attempt on destroying Syria so Syria decided to fight back the MB and Khadam and all who stand with them Asad decided that safty and security for the Syrian people is mor important than self centered opposition who have no platform or a plan for a better Syria,we heard alot about the opposition but i yet to hear about their plan for the economy ,returning the Golan hights minority rights, the only thing i heard is that Albianoni wants to set clothing apprpietness for women in the streets,Syria is moving in the right direction security economy the politecal reform which will not suxceed with a midle class so I am with the president in his plan to safegaurd the Syrian people like a good sheperd.

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