Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies
Damascus Centre for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies (DCTCRS) has been
anxiously watching the accelerating events taking place in Syria since the death
of late president Hafez Al Assad on June 10.
his (Al Assad’s) death was a crowning of the end of an era that kept Syria
away from modern history through the confiscation of political liberties, civil
rights and restricting the participation in power and decision-making to
Al-Baath Arab Socialist Party (known as Al Baath Party) and the military
end of this era and method of rule was embodied in Al Assad’s succession by
his son Bashar, which dealt the final blow to the constitution that has become
totally unacceptable by and unconvincing to anyone.
this surprising step, which took the Syrian masses unawares, the concept of
political legitimacy established by president Hafez Al Assad through the use of
force and repression under the pretext of the conflict (state of war) with
Israel as a more important national priority than the rights of Syrian citizens
and internal reform was completely abolished.
the past five years, Syria was awaiting the death of President Al Assad in the
absence of any significant action for change by any political or social
hereditary nature of power transfer in Syria and the lack of any commitment
towards political reform as well as the meaningless harangue glorifying the
successor (Bashar) brought the question of political legitimacy again to the
limelight due to the ruling regime’s incapacity to gain recognition and its
repetitive use of desperate measures to delude the masses and the elite.
of stopping the confiscation of the rights of the masses to free political
participation and the decision-making process, unlimited authorities were
conferred upon the appointed successor, consequently turning Syria into the most
backward country in the world in terms of its political system (turning a
republic into a kingdom).
these developments necessitated the holding of meetings and making of contacts
with a number of democracy-supporting intellectuals and human rights activists
to draw out a working plan for DCTCRS that addresses the needs of the phase and
meets the requirements of DCTCRS’s cultural and combative role in serving
human rights and basic liberties in Syria.
the first decision by DCTCRS was to oppose the referendum (on Bashar’s
nomination for presidency) and call for free and democratic presidential
also invited a number of Syrian politicians and intellectuals to take part in a
special edition of its “Muqarabat” magazine that would be printed and
distributed on a large scale inside and outside Syria.
also calls on human rights activists across the world to play an active and
responsible role in monitoring all human rights violations in Syria.
also voices its support to the proposal of Dr Haitham Manna’a, a Syrian human
rights activist, related to the holding of a general national conference.
is ready to put all its technological and information services at the disposal
of the conference’s preparatory committee.
also calls on participants in the conference to adopt the International
Declaration of Human Rights, officially approved by Syria in 1969, as the basic
reference of the conference.
coming stage is a significant and decisive one in the contemporary history of
Syria and upon which depends the formulation of Syria’s entry to the new
century, therefore DCTCRS refuses to let Syria remain outside history through
the continuation of the dictatorial rule and absence of liberties in Syria,
summarising its demands in:
Declaring a general amnesty.
Lifting the state of emergency (martial laws) imposed since 1963.
Drawing up a democratic constitution for the country.
Allowing all political, cultural, legal and social bodies to operate
freely in Syria.
order to achieve the above objectives, DCTCRS supports the struggle of all those
opposed to violence and sectarianism and those who respect the International
Declaration of Human Rights and work for a democratic and free Syria.