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SNHR Participates in a UN Webinar on HLP Rights and Return in Syria

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On Wednesday, June 5, 2024, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) participated in a webinar, held by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), on housing, land, and properties (HLP) rights in Syria. The event aimed to provide participants and audience members with the knowledge necessary to better understand the importance of HLP rights and their impact on the lives of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees upon their return to Syria in the context of the Syrian conflict. To that end, the panelists discussed the devastating impact of the current situation on HLP rights in Syria, highlighting discriminatory norms and practices, including obstacles faced by women in claiming and exercising their HLP rights. The panelists also discussed the most suitable strategies available to redress the ongoing violations in relation to HLP rights, including in post-conflict areas in Syria. In addition, the panelists shed light on the available paths to support IDPs in attaining their HLP rights in Syria, while exploring the best practices and actionable solutions to ensure HLP rights for returnees.

SNHR Executive Director Fadel Abdulghany spoke about how the Syrian regime has used the conflict to seize Syrian dissidents’ properties, through laws and legislations promulgated since the start of the popular uprising in Syria in March 2011. He stressed that all of these articles of law have been created specifically in the service of exploiting the state of internal armed conflict and accelerating the process of expropriating properties.

Mr. Abdulghany noted that the promulgation of many real estate laws has been intrinsically connected with the developments on the ground in Syria, explaining that whenever the regime reestablishes control over a certain area, it quickly follows this by promulgating a legislative decree on real estate regulation, which paves the way for seizing any vacant properties there, then transferring their ownership to regime clients.

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