Representatives of displaced Syrians to EU: Forced return will drive a new wave of refugees to Europe

Date(s) - 15/11/2019
11:45 - 13:15

Press Club Brussels Europe


Representatives of displaced Syrians to EU:

Forced return will drive a new wave of refugees to Europe

Press briefing by representatives of Syrian Association for Citizens dignity, a movement of displaced Syrians

Friday 15 November at 11.45

Press Club Brussels Europe

Rue Froissart 95, 1040 Brussels

RSVP: To RSVP (before 4pm November 14th) for the press conference and for additional information, including interview requests, please contact

The press briefing will be held in Arabic and English, interpretation will be provided.

Representatives of the Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity met with the EU officials to relay warnings from the displaced Syrians about the possible consequences of the continuing displacement and the threat of forced return of refugees and IDPs to Assad-held areas in a situation where minimum conditions for a safe and dignified return do not exist.

SACD has recently published a report documenting the threats and repression facing Syrians who have so far returned from displacement to Assad-held areas. More than 60% of them are actively seeking a way to flee again due to widespread and systematic violations they are suffering since returning. And more than a third of those who intend to leave have identified Europe as the destination they will try to reach.

This comes at a time when international decision-makers are making decisions that are essentially deciding the fate of refugees, while countries like Turkey and Lebanon are starting to engage in forcible repatriation of Syrians. The message of the report and the Association is that it is not safe for Syrians to return to Assad-held areas without minimum conditions monitored by the international community and that the consequences of such forced return would be long-term and destructive not only to the future of Syria but also to the region and Europe.

The briefing comes following a meeting of SACD representatives with the EU Mashreq/ Maghreb Working Party and a series of meetings where a similar message was relayed to the UN Special Envoy and the ISSG in Geneva, and the French government in Paris, with further meetings in the coming week in  Berlin and The Hague.


Ms Houda Atassi

A business professional from Homs, Syria, Houda Atassi is the Regional Director of International Humanitarian Relief (IHR), a non-profit humanitarian organization working in relief, development and protection. She is also the president of the Union of Syrian Civil Society Organizations (CSCO), which includes 43 Syrian humanitarian organizations inside and outside Syria and is a founding member of the Syrian Network Association. Displaced in 2013, Houda Atassi is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity (SACD).

Dr Mazen A.Kseibi

A dentist and trader from Homs, Syria, Dr Mazen A.Kseibi graduated from Damascus university in 1980.  Displaced to Egypt in 2013, Dr Mazen A.Kseibi, currently trades in steel and real-estate and is a member of the board of Al Ber charity association in Homs, Syria and member of the Board of Trustees of Syrian Association for Citizen’s Dignity (SACD).

Akram Tuameh

An engineer from Duma, Syria, Akram Tuameh has been an active member within the Syrian political landscape and for over ten years he has held various political positions  including; former head of the Social Affairs and Labour Committee in the Interim Government of Syria (2017 – 2019), Damascus Suburb Mayor (2015 –2016) and Duma City Councilor (2014 – 2015). As well as, the head of the Civilian Committee commissioned by Civilian Acts Committee to stop the internal conflicts in Eastern Ghouta (2016 & 2017), head of the Academics Association (2014 / 2015), member of The General Elected Committee of The Engineers Association Damascus Suburb (2008 – 2012) and member of Civil Engineering Department in The Engineers Association of Damascus Suburb (2005 -2007). Displaced in 2017 Akram Tuameh is currently a and member of the General Political Committee in the Eastern Ghouta and the General Secretariat Member of the Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity (SACD)

The Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity (SACD) is a movement established by Syrian people for the people of Syria. It has no political affiliation. Through policy advice, advocacy and dialogue it works to promote and secure the rights of refugees and internally displaced persons from Syria, representing their views and concerns so that their voices are heard.

The SACD embodies the diversity of the Syrian population, regardless of social class, religious confession, or gender. It fights against premature or forced return. It considers that a movement for a dignifying return based on the recognition of the rights of refugees and displaced as citizens of Syria should be the cornerstone for any future