20:59 GMT +316 October 2019
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    'Sinful Profession': How Daesh Forced Out Thousands of Lawyers From Syria

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    The presence of Daesh in Syria and the ongoing war has affected every institution in the country and the Syrian Bar Association is no exception. Thousands of highly qualified and talented lawyers were forced to flee their own country because Daesh declared their profession sinful. Sputnik takes a look at the issue.

    The chairman of the Damascus Bar Association, Nizar al-Sakif, spoke to Sputnik in an interview about how the war in Syria has reduced the number of lawyers in the country by half.

    According to al-Sakif in recent years the number of lawyers in Syria has decreased from 35,000 to just 20,000 and that is despite the fact that every year new graduates of higher educational establishments enter the profession.

    The reason for the mass deficiency is many lawyers have gone abroad. Their offices were burned down or destroyed by Daesh and these lawyers lost all their earnings. 

    Furthermore, the situation was complicated when the terrorists actually started hunting down lawyers after a religious fatwa [law] by Daesh was passed.

    “Many lawyers who worked in the areas controlled by Daesh became victims of terrorists, because a fatwa was issued that the profession of a lawyer is sinful and it is necessary to persecute those who are engaged in it,” al-Sakif told Sputnik.

    He further said that all the lawyers who left the country for an indefinite period are automatically excluded from the Syrian Bar Association. 

    However, the possibility remains to restore it, if no connections are found between these people and terrorist organizations upon their return.

    Al-Sakif is optimistic about the future of jurisprudence in Syria because according to him the European states actually want to resolve the Syrian crisis.

    “The European states really want to solve the problem in Syria because of the growing problems with migrants,” the chairman said.

    He further said, “The association of lawyers is the second wing of justice in the country and part of the legal proceedings. A shortage of staff can lead to the weakening of this important institution,” al-Sakif concluded.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with opposition factions and Islamist terrorist groups such as Daesh and al-Nusra Front, now known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, fighting the Syrian Army.


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