3 Jun 2011
Hamza AlKateeb was seized by Syrian authorities during a pro-democracy protest on 29 April this year. A month later his mutilated body was returned to his family. He was just 13 years old.
Hamza was brutally tortured over an extended period during his month in detention before the Syrian authorities finally killed him and released his body. They claim that the child belonged to an armed group.
According to an Al Jazeera report, "Hamza's eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza's chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off."
If you have the strength for it, you can watch a video of what the Syrian authorities did to Hamza here.
Since the news of his torture and death, a Facebook page, "We are all Hamza AlKateeb" has been created. At the time of writing, it had close to 70,000 followers.
Hamza was buried last week.
Syrians are outraged by the torture and murder of the child, prompting a fresh round of protests. The harsher the Syrian regime gets, the toucher the resolve of the opposition get, contends CNN correspondent Arwa Damon in the clip featured above.
Fouad Ajami, a professor at John Hopkins University says Syrian president, Bashar al Assad has always pretended to be civilized, but now the mask fallen.
However, Ajami argues that the Syrian people are fated to fight this struggle alone. International pressure on the Assad dictatorship has been poor compared to the situation in Libya. There was an international mandate to intervene in Libya, but apart from tough talk and sanctions, there is no mandate to intervene in Syria.