ZALIN, Syria — Following the suspension of the Absentees’ Property Management Law issued by the General Council of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) North and East Syria, the Absentees’ Property Directorate of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian and Armenian People issued a public statement, indicating that during the past five years, they have been working to protect the property of people who are displaced or have emigrated.
“The property of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian and Armenian people are not only located in the Gozarto (Jazira) Region, but also within many areas of the DAA,” the statement read. “We supported the recently issued property law, which was frozen for reasons that we find illogical.”
Following criticism of the Law for the Protection and Management of Absentees’ Property passed by the General Council of the Democratic of Autonomous Administration (DAA) on 5 August, the law was withdrawn soon after it was passed.
The Absentee’ Property Law would create a usufruct system governing the property of emigres.
Usufruct is a system in which a person or group of persons uses the real property, often land or other immovable property, of another without the right to substantially change it.
According to the Absentees’ Property Law, when a property owner emigrates outside the country and leaves their property absent for one year, barring it is being used by first or second-line family, the DAA would become a usufructuary — the holder of the property.
The DAA would not obtain the right to buy, sell, or modify the usufruct property.
The Committee is not entitled to sell or purchase the property of absentees, however, “the Committee is entitled to invest in and rent the property of the absentee” during the period the property is held by the DAA left vacant, according to Siham Qiryo, Co-Chair of the General Council.
The Absentees’ Property Directorate of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian and Armenian People indicated that this law would have entitled them to expand geographically within other areas of the DAA that are outside Gozarto Region and ensure the property of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian and Armenian peoples is protected.
The Directorate also appealed to the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Armenian people to contact them if they face any problem regarding any property, especially if they are now in the diaspora. “Our aim is protecting human rights, not violating them,” the statement concluded.
At the time of its initial passage, Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian officials publicly voiced their support for the law, which they felt was getting undue criticism.