Syria’s Rami Makhlouf relinquishes assets to charity

Short Url
Updated 29 May 2020

Syria’s Rami Makhlouf relinquishes assets to charity

  • Makhlouf said he was “very relieved and euphoric”
  • The Syrian government said his company owes $77 million

DUBAI: Rami Makhlouf, one of the richest men in Syria, is relinquishing his assets to his charity Ramak Humanitarian, newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
His shares in several banks and insurance companies will not be transferable or sellable, Makhlouf said.
In another video message on Facebook, the businessman said he was “very relieved and euphoric” to transfer the ownership.
It was “very difficult, but giving it to a humanitarian charity is an indescribable joy,” he added.
The move allows Makhlouf to avoid government seizure of his assets, sources in Damascus told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The Syrian government earlier ordered the seizure his assets, his wife’s and children’s on May 19, according to a government document reviewed by Reuters.
The document said the “precautionary seizure” aimed to guarantee payment of sums owned to the Syrian telecom regulatory authority.
According to the Syrian government, Mahklouf’s telecommunications company, Syriatel, owes nearly $77 million.
He has released a number of video messages on his Facebook page regarding the dispute, appealing to his cousin, Syrian President Bashar Assad, for help in one of them.


Yemeni prisoners say they were tortured by their Houthis captors

Updated 23 October 2020

Yemeni prisoners say they were tortured by their Houthis captors

  • The men said they were subjected to physical and psychological torture from the first moment they were in jail
  • The torture included receiving electric shocks, beatings, sleep deprivation, starvation and mock executions

DUBAI: Six Yemeni prisoners recently freed from Houthi jails said they were tortured by their Houthis captors at facilities run by the Iranian-backed militia, state news agency Saba New reported.
The internationally recognized Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Houthis swapped 484 prisoners in the first phase of a deal to release hundreds of prisoners on Oct. 15.
The men said they were subjected to physical and psychological torture from the first moment they were in jail.
The torture included receiving electric shocks, beatings, sleep deprivation, starvation and mock executions, the report added.
The prisoners were also forced to admit to crimes they did not commit and were told their wives, children and mothers would also be tortured, the report added.
The freed prisoners said they spent months in overcrowded and dark cells, and then suddenly moved to brightly lit rooms, the report added.

The men suffered serious injuries, including broken bones and dislocated spinal discs.