For years the Assad regime has been using the consulate in Istanbul as a source of income by looting Syrians displaced by its brutality whenever they need to have documents authenticated or stamped or passports renewed. The Syrian passport is the most expensive passport in the world and offers its holder next to nothing in return.
Few Syrians living in Turkey look forward to visiting the consulate of their homeland but for many it is a necessary evil. However, Osama Abo Zayd’s visit on Tuesday morning July,09.2019 was worse than usual. Abo Zayd was physically and verbally assaulted by three employees of the Assad consulate because he was wearing a rubber bracelet on his wrist which is a symbol of the Syrian revolution, a revolution for freedom and dignity. Abo Zayd was asked to remove the bracelet and after he refused was subjected to verbal obscenities followed by physical abuse
How is it that Syrians who have already suffered so much under the brutality of Assad and his thugs inside Syria are still being abused by Syrian officials in embassies and consulates that are supposed to be neutral territory? Not even the smallest of services performed by these officials are done for free and all of the exorbitant fees go towards the support of a regime that deliberately displaced millions of Syrian citizens. It is an abomination.
Free Syrians need a bold decision from the Turkish leadership to resolve the issue of documents that Syrians need to get from the consulate in Istanbul that provide the Assad regime with about $ 2 billion annually.
Assad embassies and consulates all over the world are merely intelligence branches in charge of blackmailing Syrians and stealing their money.
Abo Zayd is educated in international human rights law and made an official claim at the Turkish court in Istanbul that he said he will not withdraw.
If the international community shouldered its responsibilities in denying the legitimacy of this brutal regime, we wouldn’t see millions of Syrians today being humiliated, treated badly and robbed of their much-needed resources by Assad’s embassies and consulates.