- Dorothy Parvaz
The authorities in Syria on Monday set a deadline of 15 days for people who had committed “unlawful acts” to give themselves up, as a wave of arrests was reported across the country.
The interior ministry told “citizens who have participated in or committed unlawful acts such as bearing arms, attacking security or spreading lies to surrender by May 15 and hand their weapons in to the competent authorities”.
In an attempt to encourage people to become informants, the ministry added: “supply information about saboteurs, terrorists and arms caches... they will be spared any subsequent legal consequences”.
According to Syrian state television and local news agencies, two residents of Dara’a said yesterday basic foodstuffs and water were readily available and electricity and mobile phone networks were running as normal.
The reports stand in stark contrast to information gathered by foreign media, which quoted numerous residents of the city as saying snipers prevented them from going out to get food and that electricity and mobile networks remain cut.
In Douma, a reporter from the Lebanese channel Al-Jadeed TV toured the town, according to Cham Press news agency. According to the report, residents said “vandals burned the files at the Justice Palace to cover up previous crimes”. The news agency also said one resident stressed that those responsible were not from Douma.
The Red Cross called on Tuesday for Syria to grant immediate safe access to people injured in violence as well as those being detained by the authorities, according to Reuters.
An Al-Jazeera English journalist, Dorothy Parvaz, was reported missing after the journalist disembarked from a Qatar Airways flight in Damascus on Friday and has not been heard from since.
Parvaz is an American, Canadian and Iranian citizen. She joined Al Jazeera in 2010 and recently reported on the Japanese earthquake and tsunami for the network.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said: "We demand the government of Syria look into this case."
In other news, Lebanese MP and Head of the Lebanese Change and Reform parliamentary bloc Michel Aoun backed up the Syrian authorities’ story that an international conspiracy is guiding events in Syria.
Aoun told Al-Manar TV on Monday that there is a program of destabilisation which “seems to be well co-ordinated by foreign sides”. "The apparent dimension is the reform demands which have been underlined by President Bashar al-Assad, but those demands began shifting to demands away of the reforms which have international backgrounds,” Aoun said.
The state-owned daily Tishreen said that the military-intelligence operations in Dara’a had “caused satisfaction to the citizens, who started to feel the restoration of security, and serenity to Daraa.”
Syria Today (Syria)