Fleeing “safe Syria” | Unprecedented crowds outside passports and immigration departments in regime-held areas • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Fleeing “safe Syria” | Unprecedented crowds outside passports and immigration departments in regime-held areas

Amid ongoing media reports on Syrian-Russian “refugee return” plan, thousands of Syrians trying to get passports to flee Syria

The Syrian regime continues to master by emptying the pockets of Syrians and tightening the screws on them to supplement the almost completely collapsed treasury of the State.

In the last 72 days, long queues have been seen and increased very significantly outside immigration and passport services in various Syrian provinces. This development comes after the regime issued a decision allowing Syrians who fled the war to obtain passports without any preconditions and raising the fees of applying passports to more than 300,000 SYP.

The regime decision has prompted thousands of Syrians to flock to immigration and passport departments for applying for a passport.

This is clearly showing the desire of many to flee the country despite all the attempts of the regime and Russia to portray Syria as a safe country and repeated statements about creating conditions conducive to the return of refugees who have fled the regime’s scourge, security grip and raging war.

An unprecedented wave of congestion outside immigration departments has been seen as many people who wanted to leave the country and did not have the price of obtaining a passport seek to obtain it via brokers working with immigration officials.

It is worth noting that applying for passport fees ranges between 1000 and 1,300 USD and applying for an emergency travel document and passport were available only for Syrians outside Syria. While, a person wishing to obtain a passport via an online registration portal has to pay fees of 102,000 SYP, equivalent to 25 USD, and wait for two years after the date of reservation to obtain the passport.

This comes after the actual farce that happened recently when the online registration portal opened to civilians and those who tried to get an appointment.

The wave of immigration of young men continues, as young men in regime-held areas want to flee conflict, the consequences and the scourge of the war and the regime’s clinging to power in Syria.

Some young men chose to emigrate to Arab countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, the Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, while others flee to the European countries after leaving for Turkey or Libya despite the complex and unsafe procedures for leaving Syria via legal and illegal routes.

This comes in light of the lack of essentials, worsening security and economic conditions and the fear of arrest and fleeing compulsory service.