Eight imams arrested by Syrian regime in Dayro Zcuro after refusing to talk about the presidential elections

DAYRO ZCURO, Syria — Local news outlets in Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor) in eastern Syria reported that members of the Syrian regime’s Military Security Branch arrested eight imams from their homes for supposedly refusing to implement regime instructions to urge their congregations to participate in the upcoming presidential elections.

According to the reports, the Endowments Directorate in the city had sent a circular to imams, requiring them to talk after Friday and Tarawih prayers about the elections and the necessity of participation from a religious and national point of view.

The Syrian government has announced 26 May as the date of the next presidential election. It will be the second presidential election held during the Syrian Civil War despite internal condemnation. Like all previous elections arranged by the central government, the outcome is likely predetermined.