Thousands rally at funeral in Syria | Pakistan Today

Thousands rally at funeral in Syria

NICOSIA – Thousands of Syrians on Saturday attended the funeral of a man killed in the northwestern city of Banias, while some 2,000 women staged a separate rally in his honour, witnesses and activists said.
The mourners chanted slogans in favor of greater freedoms, against the ruling Baath party, in power since 1963, and some also called for an end to the regime, the sources told AFP. Osama al-Shikha, 40, died from his wounds after being shot on April 10 when witnesses said seven cars “carrying people sent by the regime arrived in front of the Abu Bakr al-Sidiq mosque and their occupants opened fire.”
“Five people were wounded,” a witness said, adding that “the people behind this shooting are regime thugs and their names are known to us.” About 2,000 women, meanwhile, gathered in the centre of the coastal city rallying “in favor of liberty and in homage of the martyr,” a human rights activist told AFP. The women were chanting “God, Freedom, that’s it” and “We will sacrifice our blood and soul for you, martyr,” said Abdel Karim, president of the Syrian League for Human Rights. They also chanted “the army and the people are one single hand,” he said.
President Bashar al-Assad was expected to deliver a speech Saturday during the first meeting of his new cabinet, tasked with introducing broad reforms, including lifting emergency laws. Tens of thousands of people rallied across Syria on Friday demanding greater freedoms, exactly one month after a rare protest was staged in Damascus calling for the release of political prisoners. Friday protests stretched from the key southern town of Daraa, to the predominantly Kurdish north, via the central industrial city of Homs and the coastal cities of Latakia and Banias, activists said.

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