July 9, 2011
Defectors of Syria’s security forces have described receiving orders from their superiors to fire live rounds at protesters to disperse them, according to Human Rights Watch.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The New York-based rights body released a statement on Saturday detailing interviews with eight soldiers and four members of secret security agencies it said had defected to the opposition since anti-government protests erupted in March.
The interviewees said they had participated in the government crackdown in the Syrian cities of Deraa, Izraa, Baniyas, Homs, Jisr al-Shughur, Aleppo, and Damascus, the capital.
The soldiers also reported participating in and witnessing the shooting and wounding of dozens of protesters, and the arbitrary arrests and detentions of hundreds of civilians.