Witnessing the Regime’s Brutality

Beating protesters and putting them in the trunk

As students get ready to sit for their final college exams,  protests are sweeping the country.

Ahmad, a civil engineering senior student, just like many of his peers, handed over his exam sheet and started preparing for a bigger challenge.

He put on his jeans and running shoes, and slipped his camera into the upper pocket of his shirt.

His task for the day is to  get as close as possible to the mosque, find a good spot to film, and send the footage to Arab and international media.

He made it on time – right after prayer – but just couldn’t find the perfect spot to shoot his video amid the heavy security deployment in the area.

Crowds starting walking out of the mosque, chanting “God is great, God is great”. They were confronted by the security forces,  then hell was unleashed – the protesters attacked with sticks and batons.

Still unable to find his spot, Ahmad came closer to the protest with his camera still running to get a better view of what was happening, only to find himself joining the protesters and chanting  “Freedom, Freedom … Peaceful, Peaceful”, before the sticks and electric batons started landing on his head and the rest of his body.

Beating on the ground

No matter how brave Ahmad and other protesters are, they all remain vulnerable to the security force’s weapons.

It is truly an uneven confrontation. Those students are not meant to fight men who are trained to beat and kill.

Ahmad lost track of time and became numb to the beatings, but he felt what freedom really meant every time he was hit.

The beatings were countless and so were the beaters. All that he knew was that he couldn’t stand up as he saw blood pour from his head and a foot hit his face.

He saw stars before someone shouted loudly “Stop”. It was the boss giving orders to his men, who left Ahmad and moved to their next prey.

Ahmad had a smile on his face. Yes, he was smiling. He was glad they let him go. He caught his breath and started crawling away from the scene just like many protesters have been doing in several Syrian cities and towns.

Then a hand reached to him and lifted him from the ground. He could feel dignity in the air.