May 31, 2011

BECAUSE HE CALLED FOR FREEDOM:

Teenage victim becomes a symbol for Syria's revolution: Mutilated body of Hamza al-Khatib given to family as state TV says injuries were faked by conspirators ( Shiv Malik, Ian Black and Nidaa Hassan, 31 May 2011, The Guardian)

The new face of the Syrian revolution is chubby, has a winning smile and belongs to a 13-year-old named Hamza al-Khatib.

The boy, from a village called al-Jizah near the southern city of Deraa, has become the most famous victim yet of Syria's bloody chapter of the Arab spring.

Hamza was picked up by security forces on 29 April. On 27 May his badly mutilated corpse was released to his horrified family, who were warned to keep silent.

According to a YouTube video and human rights activists, Hamza was tortured and his swollen body showed bullet wounds on his arms, black eyes, cuts, marks consistent with electric shock devices, bruises and whip marks. His neck had been broken and his penis cut off.

Like Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman who was shot dead in street protests after Iran's disputed presidential elections two years ago, Hamza has come to symbolise the innocent victims in a struggle for freedom against tyranny and repression.

In the YouTube video, a picture of Hamza is held above his coffin. It shows his angelic grin and thick head of black hair. He is dressed in a polo shirt. Below the gold-framed photo lies his body. "He was taken alive and he was killed because he called for freedom," says the voice-over.


Posted by at May 31, 2011 8:16 PM
  

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