This exclusive photo which was received by the Syrian Network for Human rights shows crowd of Syrian citizens who wishing to travel outside Syrian in front of al Jalaa Sport City in Damascus city on August 13, 2020, ignoring the importance of maintaining social distancing precautions, which violates all the precautionary measures introduced to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic among the public. SNHR notes that the Syrian regime’s Ministry of Health issued a directive on August 12, 2020, compelling Syrians wishing travel to have PCR swabs to detect the COVID-19 coronavirus to head into al Jalaa Sport City since August 13, 2020, and into Tishreen Sport City since August 16, 2020, and stop the working in the four centers specified for this purpose earlier. The ministry had issued a directive compelling all citizens wishing to travel abroad via Rafiq al Hariri Airport in Beirut to pay the equivalent of 100 US dollars, according to the exchange rate of the Commercial Bank of Syria, for medical tests using these PCR swabs.
We can affirm that, through this latest ruling, the Syrian regime once again demonstrates its continuing imposition of legislation violating fundamental principles of human rights and legitimizing the theft of already impoverished citizens’ money. Additionally, compelling citizens to undergo this test in Damascus exclusively, will further constrain Syrian citizens residing in other governorates, forcing them to travel unnecessarily and exposing them to a greater risk of exposure to the Covid-19 coronavirus. The Syrian regime’s indifference to organize this process by providing centers and tests matching the number of citizens wishing to travel caused hundreds of them to miss their flights and lose the price of their tickets and the fees charged for making the test.
The Syrian regime has taken no real action to stop overcrowding of citizens in front of these centers which is a blatant violation of precautionary measures for disease prevention. The SNHR notes that this is further confirmation that a regime responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of Syrians and the displacement of 12 million more as refugees and IDPs will not care for its people.
The Syrian regime has failed to even attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 pandemic among Syrian citizens, neglecting to apply the most basic precautionary measures stipulated by the World Health Organization.