The Dead Bear Witness

Hamza Ali al-Khatib, a 13 year old boy caught up in the Syrian uprising, was tortured and his body handed back to his parents…

Like the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions before it, the Syrian uprising has sometimes shown signs of needing a new focal point or symbol to spur it on.

Hamza’s picture has been raised at demonstrations in many towns, and at private indoor vigils by women holding placards saying “We are all the mothers of Hamza al-Khatib”.

When I heard that his parents had allowed images of his body to be broadcast as witness to the crimes against him and his people, I thought of Emmett Till. The Halfrican posts about this from the long view of history.

Some crimes cry out for justice. Emmett Till’s mother insisted on an open coffin at her son’s funeral, so that the world could see what was done to him. Images of Hamza al-Khatib are sent out on the world wide web, his parents won’t be silenced and now they have nothing to lose.

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