Middle East

Brotherhood calls for revolt anniversary action

Children play on the statue of President Bashar Al-Assad's father, Hafez Al-Assad, in Raqqa province, eastern Syria, March 13, 2013. (REUTERS/Hamid Khatib)

BEIRUT: Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood has called for week of action both in the war-torn country and elsewhere to mark the two years since the revolt broke out against President Bashar Assad.

“We in the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria declare the week following March 15 a national week of solidarity with the Syrian people and their blessed revolution,” the exiled opposition group said Wednesday.

“We call on the heroic Syrian people to bring back to life all aspects of the uprising ... inspired by the spirit of real national unity, speaking in one voice,” a statement added.

Protesters in towns and cities across Syria have taken to the streets every Friday since March 15, 2011, to call for the fall of Assad.

The banned Muslim Brotherhood was forced out of Syria by Assad’s father and predecessor Hafez after the brutal repression of an Islamist-led anti-regime movement in the early 1980s.

Dissidents say the group plays a significant role in the opposition today.

In its statement, the Brotherhood also called on “people in Arab and Islamic countries, and on free people everwhere in the world ... to consider March 15 to 22 a week of global support to the Syrian people ... with marches, demonstrations and sit-ins.”

The organization also renewed its criticism of the international community’s paralysis over the Syrian crisis.

“The Syrian people, men, women, old and young, carry out wonderful acts of bravery and make sacrifices, holding out despite the regime’s massacres and its crimes against defenseless civilians,” the Brotherhood said.

But “the international community has watched and listened on, failing the Syrian people, and failing to fulfill its legal and humanitarian responsibilities,” it added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 15, 2013, on page 9.




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