On November 17, the Syrian regime’s General Sports Federation inaugurated the ‘Golden Knight Martyr Basil al Assad’ Museum in al Assad Sports City in Lattakia city, following its renewal: it should be noted that most of the important facilities opened during the Assad family’s rule are named after the Assads, as though they were established through the family’s own funding and efforts rather than using Syrian state funds. Photos of the new museum published by the state agency SANA show an extravagantly expensive facility, with SNHR estimating that millions of dollars in state funds have been spent on this vanity project. The new museum’s construction and launch is part of a series of activities carried out by the Syrian regime celebrating the 1971 military coup carried out by Hafez al Assad in which he seized power in Syria; he subsequently gave this coup the delusional and grandiose title of the ‘Corrective Movement’.
This typical profligacy in wasting the Syrian state’s resources on regime vanity projects which have no benefit for the Syrian people, particularly when they are suffering from a catastrophic economic crisis whose primary cause is the Syrian regime’s mismanagement of the country over the past ten years, is a further grotesque insult to the nation’s citizens. This crisis is compounded by the regime’s rejection of any political solution leading to a democratically elected government which would end its own brutal rule and take control of the country out of the hands of the regime’s brutal security services, along with the regime leadership’s insistence on dedicating most of the Syrian state’s financial and other resources to massively destructive military operations, and to the persecution, arrest and torture of dissidents. SNHR has given detailed accounts in several reports of the high cost of living in Syria and the worsening and continuous rise in the prices of basic materials, which leave citizens waiting in long lines for hours in order to obtain essentials with the ruling regime wholly indifferent to the people’s massive suffering and unconcerned at the possibility that tens of thousands more citizens may die as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus, or hunger; for the regime, the only issue which truly matters is the survival of the ruling family and its small elite of beneficiaries, regardless of any cost.
We affirm that it is the responsibility of the international community and the Security Council to reduce the duration of this suffering through taking more effective political steps, and to set a strict timetable not exceeding six months in duration to be followed by all parties that achieves a political transition away from dictatorship and towards a truly democratic system which prioritizes human rights, emphasizing that this is the only way to guarantee stability, the return of the displaced, and the revival of the economy, by the disbursement of state resources according to the standards of justice, as is the case in all civilized countries which respect the rotation of power and the rights of the people.