Hisham Marwa, a member of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), recently presented a report to the political committee on the newly issued civil registry law by the Assad regime and its implications for the future of Syrians. He highlighted the Assad regime’s nefarious intentions to legalize demographic change, deprive displaced Syrians of their rights, and seize their property.
Marwa pointed out that the Assad regime aims to prevent Syrians abroad, those residing outside its controlled areas, and individuals avoiding military conscription from renewing their personal identification cards. He emphasized that the new law raises concerns about depriving Syrians who have not renewed their identity cards from participating in upcoming electoral events. Marwa also highlighted the increasing severity of this problem each year, considering that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that around 70% of Syrian children born in recent years are stateless due to the lack of official birth certificates.
In his report, Marwa expressed concerns about the law’s potential to conceal the true causes of death for detainees and forcibly disappeared individuals in Assad regime prisons. The law allows prison directors to register death incidents without the requirement of providing a medical report specifying the cause of death, thus facilitating potential manipulation of death records.
Marwa emphasized that the danger of the new civil registry law extends beyond individuals’ identity and ancestral history. The confusion in records and loss of genealogies could make it difficult to identify naturalized terrorist militia members loyal to the Assad regime. The regime has promised these militia members property seized from displaced Syrians and opponents. The new law means it will not be possible to submit evidence to refute that false claims made by these militias regarding nationality or property ownership.
Marwa put forward several recommendations, including the activation and development of civil registry centers in liberated areas through the Ministry of Interior. He proposed creating new secretariats within these centers and allowing Syrian refugees to register their identities and related information, such as births and deaths.
Marwa also called for issuing personal identity cards and family booklets linked to the Civil Registry instead of relying on identification documents issued by local councils. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of seeking international recognition for civil records in the institutions of the revolution and opposition forces.
Marwa underscored the need for international pressure on the Assad regime to facilitate Syrians’ access to their documents and enable them to register civil incidents more easily.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)