The legislative council of the Autonomous Democratic Administration of Northern Syria (ADANS) in dialogue with our colleagues on legislation and the associations’ law.
With a view to open a dialogue between authorities and citizens and to promote political participation and democratic practices, Fraternity Foundation for Human Rights (FFHR) – on Tuesday, October 13, 2018 in Qamishli city – held a dialogue session on legislation, enactment of new laws and associations’ law. The dialogue session was attended by Mr. Hakam Khalo, the joint chairman of the Legislative Council of ADANS; Perwin Abdel Fattah, representative FFHR; Mrs. Khadija Ibrahim joint president of lawyers’ Union in Al-Jazira Region.
Mr Khalo spoke about the conditions surrounding the establishment of ADANS and its institutions including the Legislative Council. He also addressed the issue of enacting laws and the problems facing the implementation of these laws.He valued the importance of organizing such dialogues with citizens and the need to be open to constructive criticism of ADANS.
For her part, Mrs. Khadija Ibrahim talked about the letter of the law and its touched implementation, and the criticisms that are directed to these laws when applied, she addressed some laws related to women issues.
Our colleague, Perwin Abdel Fattah, began her speech by thanking the chairman of the legislative council for participating in this dialogue and stressed on the following:
Our legal observations as a human rights institution defending the right to freedom of association in accordance with international human rights law, and our main objective of this legal review is to reach a comprehensive, modern, and just law that regulates the work of associations and civil society organisations in areas controlled by ASANS and Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) supported by supported by the International Coalition against ISIL, and to ensure that the law is compatible with international human rights standards and in accordance with article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention; article 5 of the Declaration issued by the General Assembly of the United Nations (Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) which is frequently abbreviated to “The Declaration on human rights defenders”, which are the same principles and norms protected by the regional charters for the protection for human rights.
Ms. Perwin presented a policy paper prepared by FFHR on ADANS’s law regulating the work of associations, organisations, and humanitarian institutions issued by Decree No. 3 of 2017. She talked about the reality of civil society organizations in the region and the pressure exerted by Turkey on the region by preventing the international organisation, operating in Turkey, from providing support for civil work in the region and said:
With the dramatic changes that took place in Syria after the year 2011 and the control of the Syrian Kurds over their areas, the status of clandestine civil society has changed to the public and the number of organizations has increased significantly in 2015 to more than 150 local organizations and different orientations, interests and competencies. Has suffered major pressures both internationally and locally after 2015, Turkey, which has the largest number of Syrian refugees, is considered the international and domestic humanitarian and civilian stronghold of the Syrians within Turkey and Syria. As a result of the military conflict between Turkey and the Kurds, Turkey has been accused of the self-governing authority of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Part of the PKK, a terrorist group in Turkey.The Turkish authorities prevented all organizations on their territory from providing all forms of support and funding to the organizations working in the area of control of the self-democratic administration. This was done concurrently with the European consensus with this trend. Turkey regards as a strategic ally of the Europeans. This has prevented the Syrian regime from any international organizations operating in its areas of control to deal in any way with the authority of democratic self-management and the decline of civil work largely after these pressures.
She discussed at length the computability of the law with the international and regional standards of the right to freedom of association where she talked about the legal reservation of the articles of the law in the following:
– The contradiction of the law with the Charter of the Social Contract
– The restrictions on registration and licensing “Extended bureaucracy”:
– Restricting terms for founding members
– Tightening the objectives of organizations
– License withdrawals
– Appeal against the decision of refusing the license
– Follow up the activities of organizations and associations
– Restrictions on the freedom of movement of associations and civil society organizations
– The coordination, handling, and integration with the competent authorities
She submitted the policy paper to the chairman of the Legislative Council which included recommendations and demands to amend the current law to ensure its computability with international human rights law, which will soon be published.
This activity was organised by FFHR within the framework of promoting political participation and democracy and defending the interests of civil society organizations by harmonizing domestic legislation with international human rights law.