Regime Sacks Thousands of Public Employees for Political Opposition

There is no recourse to the law for sacked employees

 

Hundreds of government employees have been dismissed from their positions over the last three years for their political opposition to the Syrian regime.

 

Informed sources have confirmed that several lists have been drawn up and others are pending regarding the arbitrary dismissal of employees and workers in the public sector across Syria, the majority from rebellious areas .

 

The impact of this arbitrary action is dangerous, affecting not only those who are dismissed, but also destroys the structure of their families for whom they provide a living.

 

This is not a new way for the regime to deal with political opponents; the former president Hafez Assas would put them in living mazes to make his opponents so preoccupied that they would no longer be engaged in the political domain, or would pressure them change their political positions.

 

In some cases, the security services resort to transferring the employees to far rural areas or assigning them to lower-ranking jobs that  incompatible with their intellectual qualifications and abilities, forcing them to quit.

 

A lawyer, who preferred to remain anonymous said that lawyers cannot do anything in these cases "because they are purely security decisions."

 

In the few cases in which the arbitrarily dismissed employees resort to the law, the lawyer said, "judiciary didn't give them their rights and they were unable to return to their jobs."

 

"There is a kind of complicity in the law that make it easy to dismiss workers and deprive them of their rights. The most dangerous law is Law No. 20 of 2012, which states that dismissing every worker or employee of the state is permissable, whatever the law is to which the worker belongs, and depriving him of the wage and salary and pension rights whenever he was condemned by law to have committed terrorist act, as  an actor, instigator, partner or member of a terrorist group, providing any material assistance or encouraging them in any way," the lawyer continued.

 

The problem here is that this law has a wide interpretation to be exploited for political and security purposes, and has destroyed the future of thousands of Syrian families under the pretext of applying this law.

 

Under the slogan of "fighting corruption", authorities are taking revenge against their opponents. By charging the dismissed of corruption, they prevent objections and defenders.

 

In this case the suffering of the dismissed workeer is doubled as the person is subjected to rumors and accusations circulated by the corrupt and abusive person and sometimes socially outcast.

 

Taking into consideration that hundreds of arbitrarily expelled employees are competent and honest people occupying posts not susceptible to charges of corruption, such as teachers, the situation is even worse becaue of the inability for these people to resort to justice under the current labor law. The law allows employers to dismiss workers arbitrarily and it has replaced the committees in layoff cases with so-called "labor courts" which do not execute judgements and have remained paralyzed since issuing the Labor Law No. 17 of 2010.

 

There has not been one case in which a dismissed emplyee was returned to service, encouraging the state to proceed with the policy of expelling employees arbitrarily and in large numbers. Thus, the number of laid-off workers from the private sector only has reached to more than 87,000 workers. According to the statements from the Syrian Minister of Labor, Radwan Habib, about 45,000 emp[loyees in Damascus and its countryside have been sacked.

 

Abdul Razak, a former trade unionist said that the trade union movement is "paralyzed" and dependent entirety to the executive power.

 

It is unable to defend workers in the face of employers, he said, "so how can we expect it to face the state?"

 

"The problem of the expelled cases is that it is still in the beginning and we are still far from understanding its real size of the problem. We are afraid that it will be continued as a methodical policy by the authorities to execute the harshest penalties against its political opponents."

 

Until today It is hard to know the exact numbers of the arbitrarily dismissed.One documentation center estimated about 6,000 employees have been expelled, losing all their rights and their social insurance overnight. However, the most troubling aspect is the continuation of these decisions for new groups of employees and workers, who do not dare to object to the claims that they work in a state of law.

 


 

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