Iraq News

Syria land law amounts to forced eviction: HRW

Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned Tuesday (May 29th) that Syria's new property law does not satisfy international standards and amounts to the "forced eviction" of vulnerable people unable to prove land ownership, AFP reported.

Decree 10 allows Syria's government to seize private property for zoned developments, compensating owners with shares. But owners can only claim shares if they prove ownership within 30 days after the zone is announced.

HRW said the law violates standards meant to protect owners from forced evictions set forth in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

The law affects "property rights without due process or compensation, amounting to forced eviction and property seizure for owners whose property rights are not recognised", the rights group said.

The ICESCR stipulates that any property law provide for real consultation with those affected, adequate notice before the eviction date, and sound legal remedies.

Decree 10 "does not comply with these requirements", HRW said.

"Countries and donors supporting reconstruction in Syria have a responsibility to consider the obstacles this law poses to returning for millions of displaced Syrians," said HRW's deputy Middle East director Lama Fakih.

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