How does Assad finance his war
Syrian refugee appeals to German authorities : Stop funding Assad
As a journalist, I sometimes report for our Arabic-Persian-German magazine “Kultur-Tür” on events in which politicians promise to remove bureaucratic hurdles in order to improve integration. As a father, however, I experience what strange blossoms bureaucracy drives! For example with the question: What name should my son have?
In May 2019, my wife gave birth to a healthy boy, Humam. The preliminary papers were made out in my last name. Two months later, at an official appointment at the Lichtenberg registry office, the clerk refused to enter my last name on the birth certificate. For two reasons: My Syrian passport had expired and my marriage contract had not been certified by the German embassy in Beirut. We got married in 2014 - at that time neither I nor my wife knew that we would one day end up in Germany.
Is that the contribution to reducing bureaucracy that politicians promise?
The employee referred to a new law that obliges refugees to legalize their marriage contracts. I was at a loss. Is that the contribution to reducing bureaucracy that politicians are so fond of promising? Why am I being forced to go to the Assad regime's embassy, which killed my brother and drove me from my homeland?
When I approached other Syrians about the subject, it turned out that the problem is widespread. Government agencies regularly force Syrian refugees to consult Assad's embassies to issue new passports for 800 euros or to have expired passports renewed for 300 euros. Since most of the refugees continue to receive social assistance, the regime is indirectly financed in this way through German tax money.
According to one statistic, Syrian embassies around the world poured two billion US dollars into Damascus in 2018 alone. Doesn't this count as financial support for the war?
There are thousands of similar cases that remain unsolved
As a journalist and opponent of the war, I have no access to documents from Syrian embassies abroad. I would never have been able to meet the requirements of the registry office. Humam would not be my son until Assad formally agrees. A cruel idea. It shouldn't come to that.
Seven months after the birth of my son, I was able to change the entry in the birth certificate because I recognized the paternity at the youth welfare office. Humam bears my name today.
My concern has been resolved - but there are thousands of similar cases that remain unsolved.
Editor's note: In a statement, the Lichtenberg district office declares that registry offices have been obliged to carry out identity checks on married parents with an escape biography since 2017. Syrian documents require legalization by the German diplomatic mission. Only if this is demonstrably not possible can paternity be recognized under certain circumstances. This practice is also known to the State Immigration Office and poses a problem for those entitled to asylum, the authority confirms on request.
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