December 29th local time, Elena Douhan, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on unilateral coercive measures, called on the United States to lift unilateral sanctions that could hinder Syria from rebuilding its civilian infrastructure damaged by the conflict, saying that “sanctions violate the human rights of the Syrian people”.
“The ongoing conflict and violence in Syria for nearly a decade have seriously affected the Syrian people’s ability to realize their fundamental rights, severely damaging homes, medical institutions, schools and other facilities,” she said.
Dou Han pointed out that the Caesar Syrian Civil Protection Act (the Caesar Act), which officially entered into force in June this year, contains the widest sanctions imposed on Syria in the history of the United States, and may target any foreigner who helps Syria rebuild, even foreign enterprise employees and humanitarian agencies involved in the reconstruction.
Personnel.” I fear that sanctions imposed under the Kaiser Act may exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in Syria, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting the Syrian people at greater risk of human rights violations.” Dou Han said.
“When the United States announced the first round of sanctions under the Caesar Act in June, it said that it did not intend to hurt the Syrian people.
However, the implementation of the bill may exacerbate the existing humanitarian crisis in Syria and deprive the Syrian people of the opportunity to rebuild infrastructure.
Dou Han added that “The Kaiser Act, for its unrestricted emergency executive and extraterritorial powers, raises serious concerns under the rules of international law, and also leads to excessive compliance issues.”
Dou Han said: “I am particularly shocked by the harsh treatment of the human rights of the Syrian people by the Caesar Act, including their right to housing, health and the right to an adequate life and development.
The U.S. government must not put obstacles in the process of rebuilding hospitals, because the lack of medical services jells the right to life of all Syrian people.
Dou Han also said that Syria’s economy has been greatly damaged and needs to be able to rely on foreign help to obtain the necessary humanitarian assistance and rebuild the country’s important infrastructure.
The U.S. Treasury Department believes that the Central Bank of Syria is suspected of money laundering, which obviously creates unnecessary obstacles in handling Syrian foreign aid and humanitarian imports. She stressed that the Syrian people’s right to adequate housing should be respected and ensure their access to basic services.
Dou Han stressed that “if the necessary materials are not available to repair the infrastructure damaged by the conflict, it will have a negative impact on the human rights of the Syrian people and may perpetuate the wounds caused by the conflict in the past decade for a long time”.
Ensuring that the necessary humanitarian assistance and the import of construction materials are not restricted can facilitate the return of displaced persons after infrastructure rehabilitation.
She concluded that if the Syrian people are forced to live in degrading and inhumane environments because of their inability to rebuild, it may affect their physical and mental health and in some cases may constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
It is reported that the United States passed the so-called Caesar Syrian Civil Protection Act in December 2019, imposing financial sanctions on Syrian government agencies and officials, as well as any individuals and enterprises that provide funds to the Syrian government, exacerbating the financial crisis of the Syrian government.