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Syria's Rami Makhlouf Criticizes ‘Arbitrary Measures’ against his Companies

Syria's Rami Makhlouf Criticizes ‘Arbitrary Measures’ against his Companies

Friday, 10 July, 2020 - 06:00
File photo of Rami Makhlouf
Damascus - London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Bashar Assad's billionaire cousin Rami Makhlouf broke his silence Thursday and criticized measures taken by the Syrian regime against him and his companies, warning his social media followers not to comment on his posts to prevent security apparatuses from pressuring him.

In a new post on Facebook, Makhlouf said that in the past six months the arrests of the senior male staff of his companies have not ceased, which left the offices with a female-only staff.

“After not achieving what they wanted, which is to force us to compromise, and after all the measures they took against us, from seizing all of our companies and all of our accounts and all of our properties, they have not had enough,” Makhlouf wrote.

He described the Assad regime’s decisions to shut down a number of his companies as “arbitrary”.

The last of these decisions was taken late last month when the Syrian regime announced the termination of duty free contracts with firms affiliated with Makhlouf as part of an ongoing spat between him and Assad.

The economy ministry, in a post on Facebook, said contracts had been cancelled to manage and operate duty free markets across Syria, including at Damascus airport and border posts with Lebanon and Jordan.

“Where’s the constitution to protect the innocent! Did they turn into terrorists to be treated in this way and be detained for weeks without legal basis, while all of them have good reputations and high ethical, national and unique standards,” Makhlouf wrote, adding that all those measures were taken to pressure him to compromise on his properties and money.

“Note: please do not comment on this post because the security [apparatus] is following the people who comment and they could be pressured or arrested,” he wrote.

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