A lawyer from Latakia city, named as Loay Janzir, was arrested by Syrian regime forces in the city on March 22, 2021, over his criticism on his Facebook account of the living conditions endured by the Syrian public in areas under the Syrian regime’s control, and taken to an undisclosed location.
The lawyer was charged with the generalized accusation of “weakening the nation’s psyche” and a number of other charges related to the regime’s cybercrime law, which the regime uses as a pretext to arrest citizens and employees in its own institutions for criticizing the poor living conditions in areas under its control.
SNHR notes that these charges are based on vague terms which allow the regime to apply them to any individuals, who can be arrested, tortured and sentenced on the basis of ill-defined terms that can be subject to various types of interpretations. These laws are closer to security provisions in nature than to legitimate legislation since they fundamentally violate the spirit of the law, with the vast majority of legislative articles issued by the Syrian regime (through the People’s Assembly which is wholly subservient to the regime leadership) blatantly contradicting international human rights law, and restricting freedom of opinion and expression to an alarming degree.
SNHR confirms the lack of any freedom of opinion and expression in Syria in light of the absolute intrusion by the regime’s security services into every detail of citizens’ lives, emphasizing that the Syrian regime relies on a policy of censorship and of stifling media coverage of the reality of events in the country, with these violations, which affect even its loyalists, employees and supporters, being perpetrated in tandem with its killing, arrest and forcible disappearance of the vast majority of dissidents in the areas under its control. It is impossible for any Syrian citizen to attain even the most fundamental rights without achieving a political transition in Syria towards democracy and human rights.