The victims: 'We want democracy, we have had enough of this dictatorship'

More than 50 people were shot on the day that members of the Mukhabarat, Basher al-Assad's secret police, opened fire on a demonstration, killing 22 people. Ali, a 31-year-old farmer, was shot in the leg.

Friends took him to the Turkish border from his home at Mirat al-Numan, fearful that the security forces would find and arrest him during their periodic sweeps through the town. "They had to stop the car towards the end because there was no road. They carried me into Turkey, they saved my life," he said, sitting on a hospital bed in the town of Antakya.

Ali is recovering after surgery. He was, he said, very worried about his 19-year-old wife and two young boys, aged three years and 18 months. "I have heard they had fled to the Zawri mountains and living in a cave, that's where all the people from the village went. There is no food there except fruit, they get there water from a stream. So it is very hard. But there is nothing left of my home, they burnt our farm. I do not know what has happened to the animals, there was no one to look after them."

Ali insisted that he and others involved in the protest movements were determined to achieve their goals. "We want democracy, we have had enough of this dictatorship" he said. "We don't want Sharia law, I know they are saying that people like the Muslim Brotherhood influence us, but that is not true. In our community we have Muslims and Christians living together. Muslims and Christians took part in the demonstrations together and we shall stay united. We don't want any foreign intervention."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
'I do think a woman's place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there.'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Martin of Coldplay performs live for fans at Enmore Theatre on June 19, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
music
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: Do you have a passion...

Recruitment Genius: Hotel Receptionists - Poole

£12500 - £13520 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30,000

£14000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you seek a friendly workplac...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Kent - up to £33,000

£30000 - £33000 per annum + bonus and pension: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn