In relation to its activities on International Women’s Day | HTS suspends activities of American humanitarian NGO in Idlib
SOHR sources have reported that the “Syrian Humanitarian Institute for National Empowerment” (SHINE) in USA has issued a statement announcing the suspension of its activities in Idlib by Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham using the pretext of a “fabricated and malicious” report about the organization’s activities on International Women’s Day, as well as HTS repeated acts of aggression, intimidation, and terrorism against civil society, and the Salvation Government efforts to restrain freedom of speech and opinion even in educational institutions that aim to empower women and provide free educational services to hundreds of students monthly, according to the organization.
The statement issued by SHINE, of which the Syrian Observatory obtained a copy, reads “HTS forcible closure and gag order against SHINE in Idlib.
The board of directors of SHINE regret to announce that on March 9, 2021, the Salvation Government of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) threatened hour staff’s safety and forcibly closed our facilities in Idlib city using the pretext of a fabricated and malicious report about SHINE’s activities on International Women’s Day. In addition to Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham’s repeated acts of aggression, intimidation, and terrorism against civil society, the Salvation Government continues to restrain freedom of speech and opinion even in educational institutions that aim to empower women and provide free educational services to hundreds of students monthly. We therefore regretfully announce the cessation of our services in Idlib, northwest Syria and hold HTS and its Salvation Government fully responsible for the safety and security of all former employees of the SHINE in Idlib branch who were forced to resign out of fear of HTS persecution.
SHINE pledges to continue providing services in all other Syrian regions and cooperates with all Syrians, regional, and international parties working to reform Syrian society and help it progress towards empowerment and peace. SHINE will return to provide services in Idlib when the following conditions are met:
- The cessation of all abuses and violations of human and civil rights, including the freedom of public expression and public assembly.
- Implementation of legitimate democratic governance that respects and guarantees the security, safety, and rights of all citizens.
- The lifting of the security and administrative hegemony exercised over local, regional and international organizations by HTS.
- The creation of transparent mechanism to motivate and ensure the return of international donations to Idlib.
SHINE has spent the last six years developing and empowering civil society leaders in many Syrian regions, including Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, Damascus and Daraa. The Syrian people are more than ready to take control of their own democratic destiny and establish the free and just society they deserve. We stand firm in the belief that inevitable change in Syria is already underway. The Syrian people will never be humiliated, defeated, or oppressed again.”