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Sheikh al-Karama forces: "Syrian government amnesty is a scheme to arrest wanted people"

Editing: Obaida Al Nabwani |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Maan Salti
Publication date: 2019/01/28 15:22

Al-Suwayda - SMART

The Sheikh al-Karama forces in the al-Suwayda governorate, Southern Syria, consider the Syrian government's amnesty to army defectors a "scheme" to arrest wanted people and put them in detention centers that resemble "human slaughterhouses."

The Sheikh al-Karama forces defected from the Rijal al-Karama movement due to internal disagreements. In late March 2018, the Sheikh al-Karama appeared in al-Suwayda after the assassination of its leader, Wahid al-Bal'ous, and dozens of his companions in September 2015.

The Sheikh al-Karama pledged to avenge the violations of the Syrian government forces against people from al-Suwayda who are detained in Syrian government prisons.

The Sheikh al-Karama published statements on Facebook after the Syrian government forces released a man who had been detained in the government's Sadnaya Prison. The man turned himself in after an amnesty was issued by the government, but he was arrested and photos show torture marks on his body.

In its statement, the Sheikh al-Karama said that several of al-Suwayda's residents turned themselves in after the Syrian government's "scheme," only to be detained and tortured by the Syrian government intelligence forces on charges of terrorism. The faction described the prisons as "human slaughterhouses."

The Sheikh al-Karama stated that the people of al-Suwayda "were the first to stand against the terrorism exported by the corrupt intelligence forces," adding that the latter's practices against al-Suwayda's residents "destroy the image of the Syrian government as a protector of minorities, and threatens stability in the governorate." The Sheikh al-Karama also stated that they will not hesitate to help oppressed people in the area by any means necessary.

The Sheikh al-Karama condemned the Syrian government's arrest of people who turn themselves in in accordance with the government's amnesty, while adjusting the status of (releasing individuals from military service) and releasing thousands of terrorist organization members, "like what happened last year when the Syrian government forces moved hundreds of Islamic State members to the eastern al-Suwayda countryside."

The al-Suwayda governorate is home to more than 40 thousand men who refused to join the Syrian government forces and rejected an invitation from the Syrian government forces' 4th Armored Division Commander Maher al-Assad. Dignitaries of al-Suwayda also refused a request by the Syrian government forces to install checkpoints in the governorate.