Property confiscation has been a longstanding policy of the Syrian regime since the 1960s, often employed to achieve specific economic objectives or as a means of political control and punishment. During the present conflict, which exploded in 2011, this policy has been extensively used to dispossess Syrians of their lands and properties. In essence, confiscation strategies can be categorized as either selective or collective. Selective confiscation is primarily applied through the Anti-Terrorism Court, which targets individuals involved in political or civil society activities deemed by the state to be “terrorism.” For instance, in 2017 alone, the Anti-Terrorism Court oversaw at least 8,200 confiscation cases, with 24,000 individuals yet to be tried. Other individuals, such as military evaders or those accused of corruption or tax evasion, may also face asset freezes or seizures.
Title: Amid calls for refugee returns, Assad’s property grab continues
Author: Munqeth Othman Agha
Published by: Middle East Institute
Date: June 20, 2023