U.A.E. Cancels Residencies of Syrian Nationalists
Emirati authorities have cancelled dozens of Syrians’ residency permits after they partook in a non-sanctioned protest in front of the Syrian consulate on February 10. More than 2,000 people protested against the Syrian regime in front of the consulate located in the emirate of Dubai.
The Syrian National Council has been in negotiations with U.A.E. officials in order to have the residency permits of those arrested reinstated. Reportedly, Dubai police had asked the protesters to leave, and although most left, dozens stayed behind and continued to protest. The decision to cancel the residency of an estimated 60 Syrians comes as a result of U.A.E. law, which requires a permit to stage a public protest.
Those who have had their residency removed have been forced to vacate to neighboring countries. U.A.E. officials have given them a 10 day deadline, but say they are “flexible.” Many Syrians are worried about their future. “I lived and worked in the U.A.E. for years, all my family is there. I never did anything wrong,” said a man, who spoke on a condition of anonymity out of fear for his family.
Emirati authorities claim to exercise this power as a part of their national sovereignty. Emirati officials have “asked [Syrians] to sign a pledge not to take part in any future demonstrations.”