SACD Review

April 2021

In Focus

10 reasons why elections are impossible

The upcoming presidential elections in Syria are a mere farce, not only because they lack any legitimacy or credibility, but also because they are utterly preposterous in the absence of a comprehensive political solution. 

The Syrian Association for Citizen’s Dignity has published ten reasons extensively explaining why elections in Syria are impossible in the current circumstances. The reasons included constitutional, security and logistical impediments to the participation of not only displaced Syrians around the world, but also Syrians living inside Syria, both in opposition-held and regime-held areas.

Video In Focus

a campaign to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Homs New Clock Tower Square sit-in

On the 18th of April, the Syrian Association for Citizen Dignity launches a public campaign to commemorate the first peaceful sit-in since the outbreak of popular protests more than ten years ago: the New Clock Square sit-in in Homs.

The commemoration of the Homs New Clock sit-in, the horrific massacre that followed it, and other painful events that the Syrian people have lived, confirm that our people will continue to pursue their goal of achieving a free and dignified life free of tyranny, which is the life that this great nation deserves.

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Other News

Elections in Syria without safe environment are science fiction

SACD member Mounir al-Fakir, who is a a founding partner in the Association of Detainees and Missing Persons of Sednaya Prison and himself a former detainee at Sednaya prison , writes on his dream of elections in Syria & insists that “talking about elections when there is not even a prospect of a safe environment for all Syrians is not only a waste of time, but in fact dangerous.” 

Al-Fakir explains how there are several obstacles that need to be surpassed in order to hold free and fair elections, where Syrians are not only free to vote but also free to run for office. Such elections require a comprehensive framework that Syrians perceive to be legitimate, which can only be implemented as part of a comprehensive and sustainable political solution that guarantees a safe environment for all Syrians, including the displaced.

Displacement of Madaya and Zabadani, compound crime and the horizon of return

At the beginning of April 2017, the “Four Towns Agreement” – in its amended version – was signed between representatives of some opposition factions on the one hand, and Iran and its proxy militia, the Lebanese Hezbollah, on the other hand, under the coverage of the Syrian regime yet in isolation from the United Nations.

Today three years later, the Syrian regime and Russia have not held onto their promises and obligations. A group of displaced Syrians from Madaya and Zabadani write an article explaining why they do not see any return reasonable or acceptable under the current circumstances. The safe return can only happen if there was reparation and compensation for the harm and loss the people endured, as well as the establishment of a safe and neutral environment, preceded by confidence-building measures such accountability for those who committed crimes and were involved, whether they are local or foreign officials, and the release of the detainees and reveal of the fate of the disappeared. 

Douma’s Tragic Catastrophe

The month of April marks the third anniversary of the catastrophic and painful displacement of Douma. After the imposed siege that lasted for years and dozens of attempts by the regime to storm the region, the Syrian regime, with the absolute support of the Russian forces, began a military campaign that lasted nearly two months and succeeded in eating off large parts of eastern Ghouta, and displaced its people to the opposition-controlled areas in northern Syria.

Mouaz Bowaydani writes an article explaining that as long as Russia continues to support the regime of Bashar Assad, it is impossible to achieve a safe, neutral and appropriate environment for the dignified, safe, voluntary and sustainable return of the city’s displaced people to their homes and properties, as well as compensation and reparation for them.


Syrian Refugees arbitrarily detained and tortured in Lebanon: A conversation with Marie Forestier

On May 23rd, Amnesty International published a report which documented cases of Syrian refugees being arbitrarily detained on terrorism-related charges and tortured in Lebanon. This comes as a very important and timely report, especially that the situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has been exacerbating after the Beirut blast, which was already deteriorating as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As such, SACD’s head of public relations, Haya Atassi held a conversation with Marie Forestier, researcher and advisor on refugee and migrant issues at Amnesty International on the latter’s report. The discussion revolved around the Lebanese state’s responsibility to protect Syrian refugees from being arbitrarily detained, tortured, and falsely accused of terrorism-related charges. It also held that the international community has a moral and humanitarian responsibility to protect Syrian refugees in Lebanon, in line with international treaties on torture, refugee protection, and the principle of non-refoulment.

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Safe Environment Before Everything Else:

Why elections in Syria are illegitimate without political solution

SACD published a 12-page briefing, complemented by a survey of 500 displaced Syrians, which illustrates a key point: fair and free elections are impossible without a comprehensive political solution and a safe environment for all Syrians. 

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