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Scores of Syrians on Wednesday demonstrated in Tahrir Square against President Bashar al-Assad, who refuses to cooperate with international efforts aiming to stop the regime’s brutal crackdown on protesters.
The Syrians protested as tens of thousands of Egyptians filled the square for protests and celebrations marking the anniversary of the beginning of the 25 January revolution.
Syrian demonstrators set up their own stage near Qasr al-Nil Bridge, close to the seat of the Arab League, which they criticized for its weak stance against Assad's oppressive regime.
The demonstrators raised a large Syrian flag. One speaker on the stage said that the Assad regime “continues to rape women, violate rights and kill people.”
Syrians in Cairo have organized demonstrations against Assad since the beginning of the Syrian uprising nearly ten months ago. According to UN reports, the regime’s crackdown has left more than 5,000 Syrians dead, a number that rises with each passing day.
Leaks from a meeting of Arab ministers fanned the anger of Syrian demonstrators, state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported on Wednesday. The meeting concerned whether to extend the mission of Arab monitors in Syria
MENA cited Khaled Kamal, member of the Syrian National Council, as saying that the Syrian people have lost confidence in the Arab League and do not expect it to adopt a firm stance.
“The league has proven through its performance during the last month that it is taking the side of the Syrian regime,” Kamal added.
“Syrian blood is not cheap, and we demand that the Arab League withdraw its monitors and transfer the issue the UN Security Council,” Kamal said.
Earlier in the day, Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby joined celebrations of the first anniversary of the 25 January revolution.
Araby commended last year’s peaceful protests demanding democratic rule. He expressed a wish that the transition period pass safely and that stability return to Egypt.
He called on citizens to continue demanding freedom, justice, dignity and judiciary independence, and remember those killed over the past year.