Three months have passed since the revolution in Syria sparked. Syrians are showing extraordinary bravery in their demand for freedom with more than one thousand and one hundred revolutionaries martyred, and more than ten thousand who have been detained in these past three months.
The way the regime is currently handling the protests is exactly what caused demonstrations to spread in the first place: Security forces detaining, torturing and killing citizens; The army – instead of being deployed in occupied Syrian land – has been put in confrontation with the people it’s supposed to protect; Playing the invalid card of sectarianism – thinking people will fall for it; And using national media outlets to demean the revolution and incite targeting peaceful protesters.
Now, the main concern of Syrian citizens is finding an exit from the current crisis which is created by the regime’s violent tactics in dealing with the nation-wide revolution. We see one of two exit scenarios:
1- A dialog-based peaceful transition towards a pluralist democracy based on: Free and independent elections; A transition towards eliminating the rule of one party; Eliminating unlimited presidential terms and re-elections; Eliminating the current monarch-like republic system; Removing immunity for intelligence and security agents; Removing the official cover from those who stole public funds; And reforming public media that distorts facts and incites hatred.
2- Heading to the unknown by maintaining the current tactics of using violence against peaceful demonstrations, and sacrificing the country for the sake of the survival of an immoral and disrespectful regime. This scenario carries the risks of allowing foreign intervention and civil conflict, in which case the regime takes the entire responsibility for what happens.
We refuse the demands to bring the current popular revolution to a halt just because the regime refuses to stop the current acts of murder and vandalism, we shall not accept giving an opportunity to leave Syria hostage to such an irresponsible regime.
We call upon Syrian citizens of all backgrounds, including pro-regime individuals who still have some dignity, to work together to prevent the plans which the ruling ‘elite’ have for the country, and call on everyone to make a stand that would save Syria and its people, and opens the doors for better futures.
We would like to make it clear that the central issue and the main objective of the revolution is to change the political system, first through ending the terms of the current president who is politically and legally responsible for the crimes committed against Syrians. We believe that this will be the starting point for a healthy exit scenario, and that any other arrangements will only prolong the current crisis and threaten the future of Syria.
To avoid entering a dark tunnel, we recommend the following:
First, and as LCCSy mentioned in its two previous statements, there is an IMMEDIATE need for:
Putting an end to murder, violence, and the systematic targeting of protesters by security forces, militias and Shabiha (regime’s armed thugs).
Releasing all political prisoners.
Halting all acts of tracking and detaining revolutionaries.
Putting and end to local media propaganda which targets and incites hatred against protesters.
Allowing Arab and international media into Syria.
Peaceful protests shall not stop, and shall not seek permission and authorisation from the government, for it is the citizen’s tool to defend their rights.
Second: we support a call for a national conference aiming towards a transition into a pluralist democracy, based on freedom for the public as well as equal political and legal rights among Syrians.
The conference should:
- Guarantee a safe and peaceful transition from the current governing system and provide unanimous foundations for a new system based on freedom, equality, and the rule of law. The new system should leave no space for chaos and acts of revenge.
- Specify a transitional period of no longer than 6 months, where the country shall be governed by a transitional committee of civil and military figures. This period should pave the way to: Opening public media outlets to be a tool for the people and outlet for democratic political
activities; Dissolving security agencies and temporarily delegate handling security matters to the army; Separating Baath party from the government; Dissolving “communal organizations”; Allowing the freedom for political activities and activism and give real power back to unions; and Granting the people the right for peaceful assembly and gathering.
- An establishing committee is elected during the transitional period. This committee will prepare a new constitution including points that clearly outlines the authority of the president, limiting his/her mandate to a maximum of two 4 years terms, and putting an end to ousting and marginalizing ideologies and political parties that represent the Syrian nation.
- The conference should include politicians from the current regime, as long as they didn’t take a direct part in the killing and theft of the Syrian people, as well as representatives from the local and expat Syrian opposition, and representatives of both on-the-ground and logistical revolutionaries. The conference should be observed by independent media and international civil society representatives.
We look for the following principles to guide new Syria’s public life:
Syria is a civil republic that belongs to Syrians, not to an individual, a family, or a party. No place for the inheritance of power in the new Syria.
Syrians are all equal in rights and duties; none is privileged or stripped from his/her rights due to his/her ethnic, religion or sect.
All of Syria’s cultural and religious groups shall be respected and based on equality and
citizenship; none is privileged over the other. It is therefore necessary to completely put behind the shameful history of discrimination against Kurds and other groups, and making the necessary political and legal legislation to guarantee so.
Equality and tolerance, not revenge and vengeance, are the basis for conflict resolution among Syrians, if any.
Everyone is equal in front of the law, and everyone is accountable with no exceptions.
National resources belong to all Syrians, development should be directed towards improving the abilities and welfare of all Syrians, especially those in need.
The New Syria is free, independent and committed to international community conventions preserving its national rights and integrity.
All legitimate existing businesses and establishments shall remain untouched, but it is not acceptable for the government to protect unfair and unjust economical and political practices.
Fourth: The people’s revolution is the main source of political legitimacy, it will carry on until the nation’s aspirations for freedom, equality and dignity are met.