SACD Review

September 2021

In Focus

Briefing: Normalisation of Horror – Security and Living Conditions in Assad-held Syria

Ten years into the Syrian conflict, the Syrian society is disintegrating further and deeper with each passing day of the continuing displacement of more than half of its population, the continuing and increasing repression and corruption of the Syrian regime, fragmentation of the country as various state and non-state actors seek to cement their presence and influence, and the complete collapse of the political process.

The Syrian Association for Citizen’s Dignity publishes a briefing on its latest report on security and living conditions in Assad-held Syria, which is yet another attempt to shrink the space for denial of the reality of the dire state of affairs in Syria among the relevant policymakers. It is the fourth such report that offers an insight into the views and perceptions of Syrians on some of the most relevant issues that must shape any conversation on the possibility of a safe, voluntary and dignified return of displaced Syrians and the eventual political solution that could offer a hope of a lasting peace in Syria.

Video In Focus

Denmark’s policy fails to document and relay the real threats facing Syrian refugees

Contrary to information on the ground by a large number of Syrian and international organizations, the Danish government claims that Damascus and its countryside are safe for Syrian refugees to return.

This policy targeting Syrian refugees is based on the incorrect assessment of the Danish Immigration Service (DIS) that “the security situation in Damascus and rural Damascus has improved significantly”, resulting in cancellation of the protection of Syrians originally from Damascus, leaving them with a choice of internment or return to an unsafe Syria.

The Syrian Association for Citizen's Dignity has shown in its latest survey report, Normalization of Horror, that areas under Assad control are very far from being a safe. While Denmark’s policy failed to document and relay the real threats facing refugees if they were to return, it is forcing Syrians to make the choice of returning back to an unsafe Damascus. However, safety in Syria cannot be compartmentalized. Nowhere in Syria is safe. 

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Other News

UN and SARC must stop participating in forced return of displaced Syrians from Rukban

The Syrian Association for Citizen’s Dignity called upon the United Nations in Syria and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to immediately cease all plans to transfer displaced Syrians from Rukban camp to areas under control of the Syrian regime. While Syrians living in Rukban camp endure extremely harsh living conditions, returning them to areas under Assad control poses serious threats to their lives such as unlawful killings, forced disappearance, arbitrary arrest, extortion and harassment. The UN and SARC must uphold their responsibility as international institutions not only to provide immediate and urgent relief aid but also to protect lives.


Syrians want to return, only when it’s safe

People think it's not safe for return, but think return is a necessary for the future for the country and any political settlement. SACD’s latest survey report, Normalization of Horror, has shown that only 26 percent of participants recommended displaced people to come back to regime-controlled areas and approximately half of participants are seeking to leave such areas; there is still an overwhelming belief in the need for displaced people to come back and play a major role in the reconstruction and stabilization of the country. 70 percent of the participants think that the return of the displaced is a prerequisite for Syria’s recovery. 

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Report: Normalisation of Horror – Security and Living Conditions in Assad-held Syria

The intention to leave the Syrian regime-controlled areas is growing rapidly, says the latest report by the Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity titled “Normalisation of Horror: Security and Living Conditions in Assad-held Syria.” This 91-page report sums up the outcomes of 533 interviews with Syrians living under Assad in different governorates and it comes as the fourth such report tracking perceptions and attitudes of both displaced Syrians and those who never left their areas.

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