Remember his name: Adnan Mohammed Al-Bakkour. He was Hama’s attorney-general, until he apparently resigned on Monday.
A video, in which a man claiming to be Bakkour appears, has been released. In it, the man says he “resigned from [his] position within Al-Assad regime and his gangs”.
He listed five reasons that led to his decision:
– The killing of detainees in Hama’s central prison on Sunday 31 July, where 72 peaceful protestors who were buried in mass graves
– The mass graves dug in public parks by the security forces and regime thugs, where 420 people are buried – he was ordered to produce a report saying they died at the hands of ‘armed gangs’
– The arbitrary arrest of 10,000 peaceful protestors
– The torture of citizens by the security forces, which has resulted in the deaths of 320 people
– The army’s demolition of whole homes with people still inside them. The corpses were left in the rubble to decompose for several days
Al-Bakkour blames the Interior Minister Mohammed Shaara for personally overseeing the military campaign in Hama, along with a list of local army officials.
Before this video was released, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) came out with a preemptive statement, alleging that Bakkour had been kidnapped by an armed gang. When I heard that news, alarm bells started to ring – if the opposition had managed to kidnap a regime official, it suggested an escalation in the conflict.
But in a major slip-up, SANA says that Al-Bakkour was forced to make the video statement, thereby acknowledging that the man in the video is indeed Adnan Al-Bakkour.