While the Assad regime attempts to paint itself as a protector of Syria’s minorities, it has brutally cracked down on dissent from all segments of society. The regime has arrested Christian worshippers, human rights advocates, and peaceful dissidents like Akram al Bunni and President of the Assyrian Democratic Organization, Gabriel Moushe Gourieh; raided and confiscated church property; shelled Christian communities like Yabrud; and bombed dozens of churches, some simply for being located in opposition-held areas.
The Syrian people have a long history of tolerance and co-existence, but both the regime and ISIL are fueling sectarian strife to justify their brutality. We strongly condemn these abuses and urge all parties to protect and respect the rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or religion.
© 2014 Assyrian International News Agency.