The following story by Liz Nelson is taken from WIMPS.tv a website for and by young people in Northern Ireland.
A 13 year-old boy was arrested, tortured and killed by Syrian authorities during a protest in Saida, 10km south of Daraa on 29 April.
Hamza al-Khateeb’s mutilated body was returned to his parents a month later. He had been beaten, burned, shot, electrocuted and castrated.
(Please note you might find some of the images on the pages linked to disturbing.)
His death (reported by Al-Jazera among other news media) has sparked further furious protests in Syria, already wracked by 3 months of protests and violent crackdowns by Syrian authorities. The government doesn’t even appear to be trying to hide its crimes, but rather to advertise them by sending obviously tortured corpses back to family members.
This is not the first instance of child torture in Syria, whose prisons torture-chambers are well documented.
And yet, Syria is getting much less attention internationally than other countries in turmoil. Foreign journalists are completely barred, but local journalists and human rights activists are still actively trying to publicize the brutal violent crackdowns.
A week after his body was returned, a Facebook page dedicated to Hamza had more than 60,000 followers, under the title, “We are all Hamza al-Khateeb.” A similar page developed in the wake of the death of Khaled Saeed, the young Egyptian who died in police custody and helped spark the wave of protests that eventually brought down Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
The Syria regime, however, is not going so quietly.