Syrian spokeswoman Reem Haddad appeared on Al Jazeera earlier to announce the lifting of emergency law. But AJ’s Folly Bah Thibault quickly put her on the defensive with questions about the killing of hundreds of protesters in the past week.
Thibault asks why protesters were not allowed to take to the streets peacefully in Daraa.
Haddad says: “Some of them were not actually demonstrators with legitimate rights. They were armed groups who had a different political agenda, and they caused riot and they burned and they caused fear amongst the inhabitants and that was why these demonstrations…”
Thibault asks if this is why security forces shot at them.
Haddad says: “The security forces were given very strict orders not to shoot at anyone and they did not shoot at anyone at all — until those people shot at them and at other citizens. Now obviously when you have people shooting it becomes a matter of national security and you can’t have that happening on the streets. “
Thibault says that is being disputed by people in Daraa. Finally she asks about the protesters’ demand for a regime change.
Haddad says: “I’m not aware of this request and I don’t actually know where you got this from, neither do I know anything about — hang on, let me finish — neither do I know anything about political prisoners being released for that matter. “
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