Syria detains hundreds as crackdown grows

BEIRUT — Syrian security forces have escalated an arrest campaign in the country's most rebellious regions, detaining hundreds over the past few days in the besieged city of Daraa and towns on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, activists said Monday.

Since the uprising began six weeks ago against the rule of President Bashar Assad, security forces have sought to arrest protesters in locales across the country. But in recent days, activists have spoken of a broader campaign of intimidation, with arbitrary detentions aimed at instilling a sense of fear that the uprising had seemed to break. stltoday

Syria's Crackdown Undermines Claim for Seat

UNITED NATIONS, May 2, 2011 (IPS) - When the General Assembly meets on May 20 to elect 15 new members for the Human Rights Council (HRC), the four candidates from the Asian Group - India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Syria - were until now considered certain winners for one primary reason: they remain uncontested on a "clean slate" for four vacant uncompetitive Asian regional seats.

But the mass uprisings in Syria over the last seven weeks - and the killings of over 500 unarmed civilians by a regime described as "repressive" - have cast strong doubts on the legitimacy of Syria's candidacy for a seat in the U.N.'s premier human rights body. ipsnews