Film shows brutal tactics used to quell dissent in Syria

Disturbing and graphic video footage smuggled out of Syria has shed light on the brutal methods being used by President Bashar al-Assad's regime to crush the anti-government uprising.

The video, which was passed to Amnesty International, shows injured civilians being viciously bludgeoned, a mosque under attack during a night-time raid and soldiers celebrating the deaths of protesters.

It was taken in and around Deraa, the southern city close to the Jordanian border which has become the crucible of Syria's insurrection.

The 30-minute film, which was shot in late March and April, gives a glimpse of the brutal tactics which human rights groups say the Syrian regime is using to quell dissent.

In a scene, filmed after a recent raid on a rebel-held mosque in Deraa, soldiers and armed men in plain clothes are seen standing over corpses as they shout: "Take pictures, we killed them, they are traitors."

In another scene, injured men – who appear to have been shot – are being severely beaten as they lie on the floor.

A spokesman for Amnesty said the footage highlighted the "wanton cruelty" of the regime's security apparatus. "These videos add to the damning collection of reasons why the UN Security Council must take decisive action and refer Syria to the International Criminal Court over its brutal crackdown against pro-reform protesters," the spokesman said.

The city of Deraa has become the fulcrum of the Syrian uprising. Mass demonstrations first erupted there on 18 March after 15 schoolboys were arrested for anti-regime graffiti.

A month later President Assad, who in a newspaper interview in January had brushed aside suggestions that his country was ripe for unrest, sent troops and tanks into the city to crush the disturbances. Since then the government has employed similar tactics around the country, sending tanks into other cities and using the intelligence agencies to round up thousands of civilians.

Rights groups say that between 750 and 1,000 people have been killed in the crackdown. According to a recent Human Rights Watch report, the security forces and army have killed at least 350 people in Deraa alone.

Homes have been shelled, men and women shot dead by snipers and mosques attacked by gunmen. The report also accuses the secret police of torturing detainees.

Adding to the increasing evidence of brutality, the Reuters news agency released the testimony of one of its correspondents, Suleiman al-Khalidi, who had been held by the regime for four days. "The young man was dangling upside down, white, foaming saliva dripping from his mouth. His groans sounded more bestial than human," he said in the report.

A young woman, who was arrested during the uprising despite being heavily pregnant, said her father, an activist from the Deraa region, had been detained this month and was now being held in jail.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HSE Manger - Solar

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: HSE Mana...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Powertrain Design Engineer

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I hope you are well. My client based in ...

Java Developer - Banking - London - Up to £560/day

£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried