MPs and religious leader resign


Two MPs and a religious leader have resigned in protest at more killings in various towns around Syria this weekend. At least 120 people died on Friday and Saturday, many are said to have been shot in the head or chest by snipers. The protesters were attending funerals for people who had previously died.

The two MPs who have resigned are Nassar Hariri and Khalil Rifai, both of whom come from the Daraa region in the south where the uprising began. A Sunni Islamic scholar, Sheikh Rizq Abdul-Rahim Abazeid has also resigned.

The use of violence to quell uprisings is not unusual in Syria; in 1982 the current president’s father Hafiz al-Assad ordered the town of Hama to be bombarded after an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood, between 10,000 and 30,000 people are said to have died.

The main difference today is that the use of the internet and satellite communications makes information and pictures much easier to obtain and hence verify what is happening despite a media clampdown.

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