Two Syrian lawmakers have resigned in protest over the government’s brutal crackdown on protesters, according to reports.
Nasser al-Hariri and Khalil al-Rifaei, independent MPs who represent Deraa, the city in the south which has seen a large number of demonstrations and deaths, told Al Jazeera they are quitting over the killings of demonstrators security forces.
I feel sorry for those who were killed… today and yesterday by the bullets of security forces, despite the fact that the president has promised no live ammunition by security forces at all, al-Hariri said.
Being an MP I feel the need to step down, as long as I am unable to protect the voters killed by live ammunition and so I feel better to resign.”
Syrian government troops killed about 100 people on Friday, and at least fifteen more on Saturday during funeral processions.
Al-Rifaei said: I convey my condolence to the people of Houran and the Syrian people. The Syrian people and the people of Houran voted for me to be a member of parliament and now I can't protect them anymore.
In addition, Rezq Abdulrahman Abazeid, the government-appointed mufti (Islamic chief) for Deraa, also resigned.
Nasser Weddady, of the American Islamic Conference, told Al Jazeera the resignations were a slap in the face to the government of Bashar al-Assad,
Right now the only option left for Bashar al-Assad is to deploy the armed forces because clearly the multiple intelligence services are unable to hold the people at bay, he said.
The moment of truth, the day or reckoning, will come when Bashar al-Assad is forced to deploy the military to the cities to quell the protest ... that's when we'll understand how significant these cracks will be if the conscripts and the soldiers start refusing orders or even joining the protesters.
An Al Jazeera reporter in Damascus said: We have been receiving many calls from people in different places in Syria. Probably the most dramatic are the ones from the neighborhood of Barza. Today, during the funerals, people say the security forces shot at them again ... there is a state of panic. They say there are gunmen on the streets and they are randomly shooting at people.
The crackdown by Assad continues unabated.
Daniel Saud, the head of the rights group the Committees for the Defense of Democracy, Freedoms and Human Rights in Syria, was arrested on Saturday, according to his attorney, Khalil Maatouk.
Security services arrested rights activist Daniel Saud today at his home in Baniyas and took him to an undisclosed location, Maatouk told Agence France Presse.