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May 16, 2018

What Happens If You Try and Flex Your Human Rights in an Undemocratic Society?

If there’s one thing that Daesh doesn’t like, it’s freedom of speech. That’s because their ideology is so intolerant of people who have a political, religious or social view that doesn’t precisely align with theirs, that murder is deemed acceptable. The human right to freedom of expression isn’t something that’s outlined in their playbook.

  • A man organised protests against Daesh and government forces throughout 2013.
  • The protests revealed just how much a sense of freedom means to the people of Syria.
  • He was kidnapped and tortured by Daesh.

The life of Hamoudi – a Syrian man whose age, location and second name are closely-guarded secrets – is proof of this. In 2013, when government forces were pushed out of the Syrian city of Raqqa, he was involved in the peaceful demonstrations which took place in the city. Protests which revealed just how much a sense of freedom means to the people of Syria.

“The first time I was in a demonstration, it was like a film,” he told the BBC. “My heart was shaking, I felt like I was in heaven.” He added: “All my dreams had become reality; I was living in a free city, without the Assad regime. Nobody could control our ideas.”

Hamoudi’s jubilance, however, did not last long. Daesh took over the city, determined to impose their radical, violent and warped interpretation of Islam on everyone, dashing his dreams of a democratic society in the process.

Not willing to take this lying down, he stood up against the violent extremists and their harsh rule. He mobilised protests against them, saying: “We, as Syrians, reject this. There is danger for all of us, so we have decided to stand up.”

Then he faced the consequences of doing that in an undemocratic society, the so-called ‘caliphate’ that Daesh was trying to create. Check out this BBC video to see Hamoudi’s whole poignant story. It contains some upsetting scenes.

The man who stood up to Islamic State

Meet the man kidnapped and tortured after standing up to Islamic State group in Syria.(This video contains scenes some people may find upsetting)

Posted by BBC News on Sunday, May 6, 2018


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