Syrians applying for passports face blackmail and abuse

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A Syrian man is blackmailed twice during the passport application procedure. First, he will be forced to bribe the state employee to accept the claim that the applicant will not join military service anywhere except Damascus.

Secondly, if supplicant is originally from the Syrian capital, he will be asked to submit an official military document for which fees are paid to obtain.

When an applicant arrives to the Passports Authority, an officer orders his soldiers to surround him in an uncomfortable way, before they suggest to him a way out of this rough situation by paying a certain amount of money.

The government claims that 1,000 passports are issued daily at the Damascus branch. According to a Syrian magazine, 7,000 Syrians apply daily for passports in the country’s capital.

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