Protesters Rally in Syria, Despite Security Force Presence

Posted September 2nd, 2011 at 9:05 am (UTC-5)
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Anti-government protesters have staged rallies in Syria although security forces surrounded some mosques in an effort to prevent demonstrators from taking to the streets after Friday prayers.

Activists say they are protesting under the banner of “death rather than humiliation” as they renew calls for President Bashar al-Assad's resignation.

The French News Agency says one rally has taken place outside of the home of Adnan Bakkour, the attorney general for Haman province.

In a video released Wednesday, Bakkour said he had resigned to protest the government's deadly crackdown on dissent. However, the Syrian government said Bakkour had been kidnapped.

Meanwhile, the European Union has adopted a ban on oil imports from Syria. The EU announced the decision on Friday, saying the move was designed to increase pressure on President Assad for his crackdown on dissent.

Separately, France announced Friday that it would work to develop contacts with Syria's opposition.

On Thursday, the U.S. and Britain demanded new strict international sanctions to force Mr. Assad from office.