Five months of protests against the regime in As-Suwayda
As-Suwayda governorate in southern Syria is approaching the completion of the fifth month of its continuous peaceful protests, demanding political change and the overthrow of the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Today, Friday, December 22, a demonstration took place in the Dignity Square in the center of the governorate, with the presence of various cultural factions of the governorate’s residents.
The demonstration included a group of musicians carrying their musical instruments, as well as representatives of the Assembly of As-Suwayda Writers, the Assembly of Lawyers, the Assembly of Engineers, and the Health Sector Assembly.
The protesters raised the five-colored flag and the flag of the Syrian revolution, in addition to banners with slogans demanding freedom and rejecting the autonomous administration of the governorate, considering it a “lifeboat for the regime.” Some of the slogans read, “No autonomous administration, no separatism, we want you to fall, Bashar,” “Tyrants are like records, they must be broken one day,” and “We will not accept a capital other than Damascus.”
Yesterday, representatives of the National Bloc, the Youth Political Movement, and the People’s Movement for Revolutionary Action met with the spiritual leader of the Druze sect, Sheikh Hikmat al-Hajri, and read a principles document, which they signed on the same day. They handed a copy of it to Sheikh al-Hajri, according to a video released by the local Al-Raased network.
Ignoring the voice of the south
The protests in As-Suwayda governorate have been ongoing for 19 weeks, amidst neglect from the official state media and those close to the regime.
On September 19, the representative of “Madafet al-Karamah, Dignity Guesthouse,” Laith al-Balous, son of the founder of the Men of Dignity movement, Sheikh Wahid al-Balous, and the second spiritual leader of the Druze sect, Sheikh Hamoud al-Hinnawi, met in As-Suwayda and called for the “National Salvation Conference” to be held, starting from As-Suwayda and extending to the rest of the Syrian provinces.
Sheikh Laith al-Balous previously told Enab Baladi that the idea of holding a “National Salvation Conference” is not new, as it was previously proposed by his father, Wahid al-Balous, in 2015 at the shrine of Sultan Pasha al-Atrash. He rejected holding conferences outside of Syria, like “Sochi,” “Geneva,” and “Astana,” considering that the Syrians are capable of holding a national conference that brings them together.
The “Political Body” in As-Suwayda issued its first statement on September 15 from the heart of the protest site in the Dignity Square in the center of As-Suwayda city in southern Syria, in coordination with the spiritual leader of the Druze sect, Sheikh Hikmat al-Hajri.
The spiritual leadership of the Druze sect also supported the protests, as Sheikh Hikmat al-Hajri attended the meeting with protesters in the town of Qanawat in the countryside of As-Suwayda during the early days of the demonstrations on August 21, expressing his support for the peaceful movement.
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