Hamza Ali Al-Khateeb is a Syrian child from the town of Giza in the Dara’a Governate.
Hamza is a Syrian child from the town of Giza in the Dara’a Governate, who was physically tortured and killed at the age of 13 in the early days of the Syrian Revolution. He was in the seventh grade in a local school in Giza. He was arrested at a checkpoint on April 29, 2011 while going to a protest with his family against the siege imposed by the regime on the people of Dara’a.
His body was later handed over to his family with marks of torture, cigarette burns, wounds of bullets in his arms and chest, broken bones, a broken neck, and mutilated genitals. Other injuries were consistent with the use of electroshock devices and being whipped with a cable. Videos of his tortured and mutilated body sparked widespread outrage; this macabre display reflecting the brutality of the regime even towards the youngest. Hamza Ali Al-Khateeb’s death was a catalyst for protests, and the demonstrators organized numerous events to honour him, like ‘The Day of Hamza’ on June 3, 2011, and a minute’s silence on June 8, 2011.
To this day, Hamza is an icon of the Syrian Revolution. He is renowned as one of the first martyrs to the cause. He symbolizes the purity of the Syrian people in their strive towards justice and freedom, and the horrific response of the Syrian Regime to these demands. On March 14, 2012, The Guardian released 3,000 emails leaked between Asma al-Assad (Bashar al-Assad’s wife) and her father, where he instructed her to dismiss allegations of child torture as “British propaganda.”
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