Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the Assad regime is unlawfully confiscating the homes and lands of Syrians who fled military attacks by the Assad regime and Russian forces in Idlib and Hama provinces.
In a new report issued on Thursday, the watchdog group said that a pro-regime militia and the regime-controlled “Peasants’ Unions” were involved in seizing and auctioning these lands to Assad’s loyalists.
“Peasants’ Unions are supposed to help protect farmers’ rights, but have become one more tool in the Syrian government’s systematic repression of its own people,” said Sara Kayyali, Syria researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“This is not the first time that Syrian authorities have used laws and policies to punish people they perceive to be opposing their brutal rule,” Kayyali said. “Unless the international community takes decisive action to punish these abuses, we will only see more of these initiatives.”
According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Assad regime seized at least 440,000 dunums (44,000 hectares) of agricultural land in Hama and Idlib provinces following its takeover of the area.
HRW stressed that the Assad regime “should immediately stop confiscating and auctioning the properties of citizens without getting their consent, providing them with notice, or full and adequate compensation.” (Source: SOC’s Media Department)