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Syrian courts begin work on protesters

Syrian courts begin work on protesters
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The people of Banias held up bread to symbolically nourish their brothers and sisters in Deraa in their latest protests on Wednesday.

The flames of revolt are being crushed to cinders in Syria, with hundreds of the some 8,000 people arrested or disappeared since protests began charged with “maligning the prestige of the state”, for which the penalty is three years in jail.

Students at Aleppo University were the latest to erupt in noisy protest as the security forces’ crackdown continued, with mass arrests across the country, and roadblocks and spot checks intensifying.

Many protests are now focussing on the plight of Deraa, adding calls for its relief from army seige to demands for the end of the Assad regime.

Despite the total number of deaths heading towards the 600 mark, the official media still insists the vast majority are security officers and soldiers and that the unrest is being stirred by infiltrators and armed groups.

One group witnesses say is being armed is Assad’s minority Shia sect, the Alawites. Hill villagers overlooking the mainly Sunni cities of Latakia, Banias and Tartous have been reportedly setting up roadblocks armed with brand-new AK47s.