Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, May 9, 2011

Syrian forces use soccer stadiums as prisons, human rights groups say - 9th May 2011

Syrian security forces were using soccer stadiums as makeshift prisons in at least two cities Monday after raiding homes and arresting hundreds of residents, the directors of two human rights organizations said.

In addition, security forces burst into homes and took residents into custody in the Damascus suburb of Modemiyah, where there were reports of gunfire Monday, said Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Meanwhile, state media reported that 10 people were killed and three were wounded Sunday when gunmen attacked a bus in Homs, a province where clashes broke out between security forces and protesters over the weekend. The state-run Syrian news agency called the attackers an "armed terrorist group."

More than 400 people have been arrested in Banias since Saturday, Abdul-Rahman said, adding that authorities had converted the Mediterranean city's soccer stadium into a prison to house them.

In the southern city of Daraa, the hub of Syria's six-week uprising, another human rights organization observed a similar situation.

"In Daraa, there have been so many arbitrary arrests in recent days that the army and security forces are using schools and the city's soccer stadium as makeshift prison facilities," said Ammar Qurabi, chairman of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria.

CNN could not independently confirm the reports. The heads of both organizations are not in Syria but remain in close contact with activists and protesters there. Read More