Anti-Assad protesters storm Syria's Berlin embassy

Around 30 activists break into and damage embassy, hang anti-Assad banners; Protesters leave after 20 minutes.

February 4, 2012 01:16
1 minute read.
Syrian protesters outside Cairo embassy [file]

Anti-Assad Syrian protesters outside Cairo embassy 390 R. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A group of Syrian protesters charged into Syria's embassy in the Berlin district of Tiergarten Friday, demolishing sections of the interior, according to German media reports. The approximately thirty Syrian activists, comprised of both males and females, entered through the front door of the building.

The action prompted a strongly worded statement from Germany's Foreign Ministry, as a spokesperson condemned the occupation of Syria's diplomatic building. "Attacks on embassies and consulates must be prosecuted with all consequences," said the representative of the German Foreign Ministry, adding that the security of embassies is a matter to be taken seriously.

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The Syrian dissidents hung flags of the Syrian resistance movement and Syrian Kurds from embassy windows on the first floor of the building. On the façade of the embassy, the Syrian protesters wrote slogans in English and Arabic calling for "Revolution and Freedom" and "Down with Bashar." They left the embassy after approximately twenty minutes.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has waged a bloody campaign against the pro-reform movement, which has led to more than 5,600 deaths. The Berlin police arrested the protesters, who were later released from custody. Syria's government has filed criminal charges against the activists. 

German press reported that Boris Ruge, the Foreign Ministry's Middle East commissioner, spoke with the Syrian Ambassador and expressed his regret for the illegal entry.

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Last October, Syrian opponents of Assad's regime stormed the Syria's embassy in Berlin and rallied in front of  the consulate in Hamburg. The murder of Syrian-Kurdish leader Mishaal al-Tammo in October prompted opposition groups to storm embassies and consulates across Europe.

During the last October's protest, roughly 24 protesters ripped down a fence and entered the Syrian Embassy. The Syrian ambassador, who lived in the building, contacted the police at the time.

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