Documentation of the Syrian Regime’s Killing of 65 Civilian Residents of Hama Governorate on the ‘Children of Freedom Friday’

Live Bullets Answered Demonstrators Bearing Roses, Killing Children


I. Introduction:
By June 2011, the popular uprising that began in mid-March of that year had expanded to include many more Syrian citizens despite the threat of death, arrest and enforced disappearance by Syrian regime forces against anyone who dared to participate in demonstrations against the Assad family’s tyrannical hereditary rule. From the very first moments of the popular uprising, the Syrian regime chose to confront peaceful demonstrators demanding freedom, dignity and a transition from dictatorship to democracy with murderous iron and fire; according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) database, in the four weeks from March 15, 2011, up until April 14, 2011, the day of the ‘Great Friday’, at least 277 civilians were killed, and 1,437 others were arrested.
The uprising was distinguished from the first days by the demonstrators organizing major popular demonstrations on Friday of every week, with each of these demonstrations given a title chosen by popular vote expressing the slogans that the demonstrators across the country would chant in all the Syrian governorates; throughout this time, the Syrian regime continued its efforts to brutally crush the uprising and intimidate the people back into silence, using live bullets, arrests and torture, which assumed a systematic and widespread nature, amounting to crimes against humanity according to a report issued by Human Rights Watch on Wednesday, June 1, 2011.
On Thursday, June 2, 2011, the then-United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said that at least 70 people had been killed in Syria in the previous week due to the regime’s crackdown on demonstrations.
On Friday, June 3, 2011, mass demonstrations took place in several cities and governorates of Syria under the title ‘Children of Freedom Friday’, with the regime’s security services confronting these demonstrations with live bullets.

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