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      Arab Spring: Singer who Called for Assad’s Ouster Killed

      Syrian singer Ibrahim Qashoush wrote a song calling for Syrian President Assad's ouster. His body was later found in a river in Hama.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 7/11/2011, 4:53 AM / Last Update: 7/11/2011, 8:11 AM

      The Syrian regime has executed a local singer who had taken part in the demonstrations against President Bashar Assad.

      The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the body of Syrian singer Ibrahim Qashoush, who wrote a song about the Syrian uprising and who had taken part in riots in the city of Hama, was found last week in a river in the city. His throat had been cut.

      The video below was taken during a June 27 rally in Hama, in which Qashoush performed his memorable song, which includes lyrics such as “Get out Bashar!” and “Bashar, you’re a liar.”

      Hama, where Bashar Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, slaughtered at least 30,000 of the city’s residents in order to suppress a revolt in 1982, has been at the center of this wave of anti-regime protests as well. Assad’s troops have been cracking down on the protesters, firing indiscriminately into the crowds. Just last month, at least 40 protesters were gunned down by security forces.

      The city’s residents mobilized last week to deny the troops entry, putting up sand barriers and tires in an attempt to block assaults.

      The attempts apparently did not help, as later it was reported that security forces had killed at least 23 of the city’s residents.

      Qashoush’s death is not the first story of a revolution victim who became a symbol: In May, the body of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib was returned to his parents, after he was arrested during an anti-government protest in Dera’a.

      Syrian security forces had returned his body to his parents on the condition they agreed to sign a form promising to bury his body immediately.

      Activists made sure to film detailed video footage of the 13-year-old’s battered and bullet-riddled body, and to post that video on YouTube, before the boy was laid to rest.