WASHINGTON, DC — Citizens for a Secure and Safe America (C4SSA) is deeply alarmed by the Assad regime’s readmission into the Arab League, a betrayal to hundreds of thousands of victims of Assad’s cruelty. On Sunday, May 7, 2023, 13 of the 22 member states of the Arab League met in Cairo and reinstated Syria to the league through a non-unanimous consensus agreement after a 12-year suspension. This readmission occurred despite no meaningful changes to the regime’s behavior that led to its suspension in the first place. The Assad regime and its backers have persisted in their war crimes and crimes against humanity, violently oppressing and terrorizing a nation in agony.

This is a significant setback for the Syrian people and their pursuit of freedom, democracy, justice, and accountability. The recent decision by the Arab League to reinstate Syria as a member has been met with widespread condemnation from human rights groups, political analysts, and concerned citizens around the world.

This decision marks a devastating failure of the Syrian people as well as human rights everywhere, as it subverts international norms and sets a dangerous precedent for reengaging with a pariah. This is the same Assad that tortured and killed hundreds of thousands of his own people with missiles, barrel bombs and chemical weapons in the worst mass attack the world has seen in the 21st century. The decision by the Arab League to welcome Syria back into its fold sends a troubling message to the world and undermines efforts to hold the Syrian government accountable for its actions. Moreover, it risks further isolating those who have been fighting for democracy and human rights in Syria, and sends a signal that such efforts are not valued or supported by the Arab League.

Despite claims that this reinstatement is conditional, the deal contains absolutely no conditions nor enforcement mechanisms, which makes this decision much more dangerous. The 13 member states have effectively legitimized and empowered Assad without any effort, symbolic or otherwise, to restrain him from abusing this newfound power against the Syrian people. These states have proceeded with normalization despite the Assad regime’s actions that flooded their countries with refugees and drugs. C4SSA is also disappointed with the remaining nine states who opted not to attend rather than show up and fight for those who gave their lives for freedom, self-determination, democracy, and basic human rights.

We will never forget the sacrifice of those who fought for freedom and democracy in Syria, nor the millions of Syrians still suffering under Assad’s rule. This decision does not erase Assad’s decade-worth of savagery nor dampen our commitment to the fight for a free and democratic Syria. As concerned citizens, we join these voices in calling for a peaceful and just resolution to the crisis in Syria, one that upholds the rights and dignity of all Syrians and holds those responsible for atrocities accountable for their actions.