Germany is spearheading efforts to counter Assad’s attempts to confiscate Syrian refugees’ property as a newly introduced legalization will prevent the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.
The German government said that the presidential decree No.10 on real estate registration is a “cynical plan” designed to confiscate refugees’ property. It added that it would be discussing with its partners in the EU how “we can oppose this perfidious plan.” It also called upon the United Nations and the UN Security Council to address the issue.
The decree, which ran in state-run media this month, gives property owners in certain parts of Syria one month to provide ownership deeds or face having their property confiscated.
The Syrian Coalition and ‘Next Day’ organization on April 17 held a workshop on Law No. 10 and its consequences on the Syrian people. Judges, lawyers, administration officials, constitutional experts as well as technical experts from the association of engineers and technical departments in municipalities, state property and real estate register participated in the workshop.
The Coalition expressed deep concern that the legalization is aimed at serving plans for demographic change under the guise of reconstruction projects, restoration and removal of rubble as was the case in the city of Homs. It stressed that reconstruction operations must begin only after the displaced people have returned to their homes and a comprehensive political transition has been reached.
The German foreign ministry called Assad’s plan “perfidious,” stressing that many asylum seekers could lose what is left of their homes in the coming months — and with it, the incentive to return to their home country.
The ministry added that the Assad regime is seeking “to call into question the property rights of many exiled Syrians, using flimsy legal regulations”, “fundamentally change local conditions” in favor of the regime and its supporters and “make it difficult for a huge number of Syrians to return.”
“We urge the supporters of the regime, above all Russia, to prevent the implementation of these laws. It is about the fate and the future of people who have suffered great suffering and deprivation for more than seven years. Their hope is to have a peaceful life in Syria again someday,” the ministry added.
The Guardian newspaper said that 10 million Syrians outside the country are at risk of being stripped of their real estate property under the recently introduced law. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)