Thursday, April 15, 2021

Syria is “squeezing” money from refugees to avoid bankruptcy – ZAP

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Orestis Panagiotou / EPA

Syria is creating absurd taxes to try to extract as much money as possible from refugees fleeing or trying to flee the country. The country is experiencing a serious economic crisis due to the civil war.

For Syrian President Bashar Assad, winning the civil war came at a brutal financial cost. The country owes $ 1 billion to Russia and Iran for their help to prevent a revolt that was aimed at lifting Bashar Assad out of power. Since then, Damascus has carried out a strict sanctions regime.

The war meant that there were 6.2 million Syrian displaced persons within the country, in addition to 5.6 million refugees abroad. The figures of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are conservative, since millions more are undocumented.

In June 2019, after the end of the war, Assad begged the Syrians to return home. However, the dictator had an asset under his sleeve. In July 2020, the Government announced that every Syrian who entered the country would have to exchange $ 100 for Syrian pounds. Some families had to split up because they didn’t have the money to bring all the family members, writes OZY.

This year, a new law allows the Government seize property and other assets of men who do not pay the fee of up to $ 8,000 to avoid military enlistment before turning 43.

“There are strict laws that no citizen can escape from. The state can confiscate your property and money, the money of your parents, wife, relatives and anyone related to it, “warned Elias al-Bitar, a brigadier general in the Syrian armed forces, in a video published by the Syrian Ministry of Information. .

For years, pro-government militias were allowed to plunder and murder in areas previously controlled by the opposition. However, this is the first time that the Syrian government has campaigned so directly to raise money from refugees.

Even Syrians who have emigrated are not free to pay the tax to avoid military enlistment.

“It is a clear concern because [se as suas casas e propriedades forem vendidas], these people will have nowhere to go“Sara Kayyali of Human Rights Watch said in statements to OZY.

Daniel Costa Daniel Costa, ZAP //

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