PFIF Demands Stop Confiscation Of Opponents’ Property

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Paris – Paris Francophone Institute for freedoms (PFIF) is concerned about the escalation of the Syrian regime’s practices by confiscating dissident’s property, which constitutes a collective punishment for their participation in popular protests against the regime to demand freedom and democracy in the country.

PFIF, an international human rights organization, has received dozens of complaints from Syrian dissidents residing abroad and others who have been displaced to other parts of Syria. Property belonging to them and their families has been confiscated by the Syrian regime.

The complaints included monitoring the confiscation of houses, lands, offices and cars belonging to opponents and their families, without informing them of a legal document or providing any official justification from the Syrian authorities.

The Human Rights Institute said that the Syrian government resorted to the anti-terrorism law to confiscate the property of dissidents and their families as they regained control of areas that were subject to armed opposition groups.

While Act No. 10 has not yet entered into force, the Anti-Terrorism Act is already in effect to confiscate property, including the property of people who have not participated in acts of violence, but the regime accuses them of engaging in popular protests against it.

 A year after the outbreak of the popular uprising in Syria in 2011, the Syrian regime amended the anti-terrorism laws by a presidential decree granting the courts the authority to issue confiscation orders for private property for security reasons.

In the beginning, the movable and immovable assets are frozen under these orders, which prevents their owners from selling or using them for commercial purposes. In the event of the implementation of these provisions, Syria must expose these assets for sale at public auction.

PFIF has warned that hundreds of confiscation procedures have been ordered under executive orders for pre-trial detention, a measure that could involve thousands of people.

The Institute confirmed that the assets freeze is part of a large number of laws used by the Syrian government to punish opponents and political opponents as well as current or former members of opposition groups.

It also pointed out that those whose property was confiscated would remain afraid to return to Syria after being branded a terrorist. The loss of property would also prevent their return.

Paris Francophone Institute for Freedoms calls on the international community and its human rights organizations to immediately intervene with the Syrian regime to stop its illegal punitive measures against dissidents and their property and to block attempts to perpetuate the lack of a safe return for IDPs outside and inside the country.

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