Since Hay’at Tahrir al Sham emerged on January 28, 2017 as a new group consisting mainly of Fateh al Sham Front (Formerly Al Nussra Front) and Ansar al Din, two extremist Islamic groups, in addition to a number of armed opposition factions, the Group frequently carried out acts of oppression and raided active civil society organization centers in Idlib governorate, confiscated their properties, and carried out wide abductions and arrests, and pursued the workers at these centers. All of this hindered the work of these organizations, and discontinued many of their activities according to a report by SNHR.
On Friday, March 10, 2017, Hay’at Tahrir al Sham raided “Bawwabet Idlib Forum” in Saraqeb city, Idlib governorate, and confiscated its equipment following an event, “Noon al Thawra”, held by the Forum to honor a number of active Syrian women inside Syria on the occasion of International Women’s Day which was on March 8. The raid was under the pretext that men and women were present together “Ikhtelat” during the event, which clearly means that the de facto authority in the area, “Hay’at Tahrir al Sham”, is trying to enforce its views and extremist rulings on the civil society organizations and control their resources and activities, and then gradually generalize this view throughout the Syrian society using military force, even though all de facto authorities, regardless of their shape and form, are bound by the international human rights law to respect the basic human rights in their areas of control.
The organizations and entities signing this statement condemn the practices of “Hay’at Tahrir al Sham” that aim to oppress and eliminate the Syrian society, and demand that all equipment is returned to their rightful owners.