Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition, Dima Moussa, warned that Law No. 10 which has been recently issued by the Assad regime will have many negative consequences for the political process and political transition that was outlined in the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Moussa made these remarks during a workshop that was organized by the Day After, an independent, Syrian-led civil society organization. Participants in the workshop, who included judges, lawyers, legal experts as well as representatives of states and international organizations, discussed the legal, political, and economic aspects of the new legalization.
Moussa underscored that the Assad regime’s issuance of the new law while talk about the drafting of a new constitution is underway was a further proof of the regime’s lack of seriousness about the whole political process and of its insistence on pursuing a bloody military solution to the conflict.
Law No. 10 will also risk preventing the bringing about of a comprehensive political transition as was stipulated by UN resolutions on Syria, Moussa said. She cautioned that the new law would prevent the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes, which will pose a new problem for the electoral process as it would make it difficult to identify the areas where voters live.
Moreover, Moussa pointed out that the Assad regime is trying to cover up the war crimes its forces have committed over the past seven years by destroying all evidence about these crimes. This will hinder investigations into war crimes and violations and complicate efforts to achieve transitional justice, she added.
A number of countries, most notably Germany, also criticized Law No. 10. The German Foreign Ministry said it was “deeply angered” by Assad’s latest decree because it amounted to property dispossession of Syrian refugees “on a great scale.” The Ministry also said the legislative promulgation was an apparent attempt to fundamentally modify local conditions “to the benefit of the regime and its supporters and hinder the return of a huge number of Syrians.”
Chief the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea described the new law as “very dangerous” as it risks preventing the return of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Echoing the same concerns, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri described the new measure as “fraudulent.” He noted that the new law is solely aimed at preventing the displaced Syrians from returning to their country and threatens hundreds of thousands of displaced people to confiscate their property if they do not return within a specific period. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)