Commentary

The Selective Return of Syrian Refugees

The return policy implemented by the Assad regime suggests that there are certain groups that are welcome, while others are not. In fact, it seems as though Assad prefers the return of populations going back to rural areas more than those returning to cities, as available data on returning refugees confirm that the majority have returned to rural areas, especially to the countryside of Homs and Damascus.

Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Legal Frameworks and Recent Developments

Syrians in Turkey are currently coping with a broad set of challenges that human rights defenders are tackling with their limited means, from administrative complexities, restriction of movement, precarity and lack of integration, policy changes, securitization, to exposure to xenophobic rhetoric, racist crimes, arbitrary arrests, forced displacement to Northern Syria, and fears of reconciliation as Turkey is laying the ground for closer political relations with the Syrian regime. Yet, at the same time, they try to be integrated, support their families, send their children to school, and have access to healthcare structures. Integration success varies significantly according to age, gender, social class, marital status, and regions, among other factors.

The Syrian Regime Signals Legal and Military Shifts to...

Since mid-2021, the Syrian regime has introduced a set of new policies targeting a number of vital sectors. These policies can be mostly observed in the legal and legislative sector, as well as with new appointments in the security and military fields—Syria’s most thriving branch ever since 2011. These changes, which have been kickstarted after the latest presidential elections in May 2021 and the formation of a new government in August, have been part of the regime’s new push to end its international isolation.

Explainers

Understanding Assad’s New Cyber-Crackdown in Syria

A decade after the Assad regime silenced the mass peaceful demonstrations with brute military force across Syria, the government continues to consolidate its power by criminalizing freedom of speech and expression, and shrinking civic spaces to stifle any form of dissent or perceived opposition. The following analysis uncovers how the new cybercrime law that was introduced in April 2022 is part and parcel of the repressive legal tactics levied by the Syrian regime to criminalize freedom of expression and the free flow of information under the pretext of combating cybercrime.

The Prosecution of a Syrian Regime Doctor in Germany:...

Shedding light on the Syrian regime’s systematic and widespread policy of torture, the Alaa M. case will address new aspects of the regime’s violations, focusing on the violations of doctors and medical workers within the state-sponsored torture system.

Putting Families’ Needs at the Center: A Humanitarian Approach...

Enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention have become such a widespread situation for hundreds of thousands of Syrian families that, as recalled by the Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, “nearly all Syrians have been victims, one way or another.” 

Reports & Briefs

TIMEP Brief: The Return of Refugees

Should governments and international institutions prematurely encourage returns, refugees may feel pressured or forced to return to an environment that they do not have sufficient information about or that may end up being unsafe, unstable, or even life-threatening for them—raising serious moral and international legal considerations.

TIMEP Brief: Conscription Law

By establishing compulsory military service and creating an expansive pool from which to draw reservists, Syria’s Conscription Law makes military service a central element of the relationship between the Syrian state and the civilian population.

TIMEP Monthly Briefs: May 2019

This monthly compilation of TIMEP briefs offers succinct, policy-relevant information on regional issues, laws, and policies, highlighting the context in which developments occur, their trajectories, and implications.