The Syrian government persists on adopting a certain way of treating the syrian people that is akin to the same way a puppeteer moves and changes the motion of his / her puppets' strings whatever way he / she likes and / or wills. In the puppet show, the syrians are reduced to the level of mere tools that are used to keep the show upright. In other words, the syrians, according to the conceptions of the government, can not play the role of the doers, instead they are fit for playing the roles of those being done for.This vision is being manifested in the obscurant draft law (The Personal Status Draft Law) Which reflects, on a broader level, the repercussions that the syrian state and society may suffer due to these conceptions adopted by the government.

This approach always becomes apparent in the case of issuing and amending laws. In fact, this process of enacting a law in Syria can be compared to the way a magician sets out his magic. In other words, the committees responsible for this process black out any information about these drafts. The same thing can be applied in case of the ratification of laws and decrees made by the Cabinet of Ministers.Even when these laws are presented before the People's Assembly for discussion, the people themselves upon whom those laws will be applied go astray and become lost because they donot know the core or essence of those laws and what exactly it tries to convey to the people. Thus, by blacking out any kind of information relating to these laws, the syrians are being prevented from participating in the process of decision making of laws that pertain and control their daily lives, their daily intermigling with society as well as their
interaction with the government itself.

The same thing is being repeated over and over again. Lately, SANA reported that the Ministers' Cabinet has ratified a draft law that aims at amending the Punishment Law without unveiling any details about the ratified draft law. In other words, it doesnot provide details about what has been amended and the procedures were used for its amendment etc.

Actually, this approach contrasts with the essence of law (in general not just in Syria) that is based on the participation in the process of decision making and law enactment.Every citizen has the right to take part in whatever governs his / her everyday lives.The syrian constitution states the same rule as it stipulates in aticle 2 part 2 that, "Each citizen is guaranteed the right to contribute in the political, economic, social and cultural domains of life and this right is being regulated by the power of law." and in this way this approach also contrasts with the syrian constitution.

Thus, we demand that the syrian government in general and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in specific shouldnot struck down a draft law that was not submitted for the public poll through the governmental sponsored site that is called "Partnership of Syria" and that carries the banner of "participate" in the so-called process of decision making. Verily, this site was dedicated for that purpose but alas it has been put on the margin in full. Even the portal assigned for the "legislative drafts" is absolutely bare-handed and contains nothing at all. In addition, the portal for the "issued legislations" contains nothing but the number of the draft, its date, and two briefly written lines about the draft. None the worse is that the act number 37 dated 1st of July 2009 and which was assigned for amending article 548 of the Punishment Law remains the same since it was released though it contains a syntactical error as it states that "He ventured on killing her or hurting her or anyone of them." whereas SANA set out to amend its format after the note made about that by th SWO and thus it was changed to be, "He ventured on killing or hurting both of them or killing or hurting one of them."

In truth, each citizen (whether a man or a woman) has the right to gain knowledge about the laws that govern their lives and this is a major right that nobody, including the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, can have the right to squander for no good reason.

Also, citizens have the right to know every thing about the law before its ratification and in the same way they have the right to participate in selecting it, amending it and submitting proposals for these amendments.

Due to this fact, we beseech all citizens (men or women) to launch a wide range campaign to enforce the Presidency of the Council of Ministers to activate the work of the governmental sponsored site, " Syrian Partenership " and to have the obligation of publishing any draft law within / upon its pages since the time it is issued by the committee charged with its design and before issuing the ratification of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers within a period of time not less than a whole month.

By: Bassam AlKadi, 14/9/2009, (We are eligible to know... so is to participate)

Translated by: Doaa Nabhan

source in Arabic..