Free Ali! Free Alaa! Free Ramin! Free Fateh! Free US All!

And the list goes on. It’s pretty depressing really. The backlash against civil rights activists in the region seems to be in full force these days. Why is it a backlash? Because I believe it is closely connected to the US continuing troubles in Iraq and to the fact the Bush’s second term in office is drawing to an end. The regimes are taking a defiant stand in resonance with Ahmadinejad’s own stands.

With the Syrian regime being the weak link in the equation, the US (and France) needs to take a very strong stand against it. The new UN resolution needs to be very critical, and some serious action is required.

Meanwhile, the Alis, Alaas, Ramins and Fatehs of our troubled freedom cause will continue to face the music on our behalf. The least we can do in this connection is to organize better and more effective rallies than the one that took place earlier today, which was announced at the last minute with no preparations. Consequently only 6 people showed up, and I was not one of them, I am sorry to say.

I think we should organize one rally for the freedom of all prisoners of conscience in the region, and we should do so soon. We need to see if we can enlist the help of heavy-hitters in this regard, and try to enlist the support of well-known public figures from around the country.

Such moves might be symbolic, but symbolism is important. And the attention drawn to the plight of these figures might at least save them from being tortured, which will not be a small feat.

So, any ideas as to how we can proceed with something like this?

7 thoughts on “Free Ali! Free Alaa! Free Ramin! Free Fateh! Free US All!

  1. Dear Ammar,I suggest other thing parallel to public activities, a website dedicated to the stories of all who suffered this particular dictators regime or any other regional one, getting its feed from the families and friend of the lost/held people, making them real persons whom we can really relate to and feel there pain and frustration, imagine 17000 stories at least from Syria, what do you think? I know there are a lot of human rights sites out there but it only lists a small percentage of them and rarely their stories, people need to identify with those who are lost and who are still waiting for freedom or the closer!

  2. sorry … closure!MsWord doesn’t read my mind after all, for it closer is correct even if it wasn’t for me 🙂

  3. Excellent suggestion Hammam, I think a continously updated blog along these lines will work well for this purpose. Let me think about this for a little while and see if I can pull something together.

  4. I think this is a great idea…. the people need to come out of the dark….and be seen..and heard….not just nameless…’disappeared persons’…..problem is that it seems like people are afraid to even do that….to tell a story…their story even. I believe this is because they fear that it is a complaint that will bring even more harm to them…..However, perhaps making it a collective action….so that many persons stories go public all at once…instead of one at a time……would give a kind of reassurance…that anonymity is not needed, and that there is a protection in numbers. People need to feel that they are not alone in their action and voice. YOU SHOULD DO THIS!…..We should do this.

  5. Zenobia, Hammam, I can officially tell you that we started working on it. But, it’s going to take a few weeks to get the first few stories out.

  6. Thank you Zenobia for your support and commentsThis is great news, I was long time thinking of it, but it didn’t see daylight, and I am ready to help in anyway needed. I hope it will go smooth.Thank you Ammar, you made my day, my wife even had tears in her eyes! I believe this site will have big impact especially if it was professionally made and advertised for, and don’t worry about the stories; it will come from all around the world and not only from within Syria. WE HAVE TO SPEAK OUT, only facts will be enough to give real picture of what happened and is still happening.

  7. Great! I am so glad to hear it. I really thing this is a terrific and meaningful..as well as… doable project. I also think that this is something that could be expanded and developed. For example, I think that a website is an important beginning to generate interest, but it would be great to find a way to publicize stories and accounts in an equally visible form …especially inside Syria…..that is tangible too, I am not sure what i am thinking of yet…, but something that could be available to people on the street or at least…those who are not part of internet world….But, this is a terrific opening !

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