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Uprisings, human rights violations and violence against children in Syria

Interview with three activists for the Montreal Collective for Syria

by CKUT News Collective

Democracy protest in Syria
Democracy protest in Syria
Uprisings, human rights violations and violence against children in Syria


This interview was recorded live on CKUT’s collective community news program, Off the Hour, and featured three in-studio guests: Buschra Jalabi, David Aboud and Rami Nachach.


Buschra Jalabi holds law degrees from Université de Montréal and McGill with a concentration in human rights and cultural diversity. She currently works as an investigator in discrimination cases in the Human Rights Commission of Quebec.

Brian Aboud is a CEGEP teacher and sociologist specializing in critical racism and ethnicity studies.  His research and writing focus on late-19th and early-20th century migrations from historical Syria to Canada and on Canadian government migrant entry regulations during that period. 

Rami Nachach is a social justice activist, and a member of Tadamon! Montreal. He has been active in Syria solidarity protests in Montreal over the recent months.

Throughout the interview Jalabi, Aboud and Nachach share their views on what triggered protests in Syria, the effects of uprisings on diasporas, and the nature of activism against the Syrian regime. All three of guests are activists with the Collective for Syria in Montreal. The Collective is a group of people committed to show solidarity with Syrian people who have been withstanding systematic killings, beatings, detainment and torture from Syrian security forces since uprisings began on March 18, 2011.

Combating the isolation of Syrian people in the wake of the regime’s ban of international media, the importance of international solidarity and awareness of the daily conditions Syrians face in their ongoing struggle for freedom, respect, dignity and democracy are amongst the goals of the Montreal Collective.

The date of this interview, Friday June 3, was declared by Syrian activists leading protests to be the “Friday of the Children of Freedom” in commemoration of the systematic targeting of children by security forces. In honour of this day, the implication of state violence against children was a topic of discussion amongst the three studio guests. The significance of three events in particular are discussed in detail: the detainment and torture of 15 children in the city of Daraa in Southwest Syrian for revolutionary graffiti slogans in March, the death of 13 year old Hamza al-Khateeb and shots aimed at a school bus of children.

Based on a report released on June 1 by Human Rights Watch, the total number of people killed throughout Syria by security forces is estimated to be at least 887 since uprisings began in March. With this context in mind, Jalabi, Nachach and Aboud discuss the significance of the nonviolent demonstrations undertaken in Syria.

For more information on the Collective for Syria in Montreal and the upcoming Global Syria Day taking place at 1pm on June 11, 2011 in Norman Bethune Square (Guy and Maisonneuve) visit the Collective’s website:

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