A decade after the Syrian civil war, which was triggered by calls for long-standing Bashar Al-Assad to leave, the now stronger-than-ever Russian-backed president is holding presidential elections; ones that highly unlikely will crown anyone else as president.
A commander of #Assad forces stabs his chest to bleed and put his blood on the paper for Assad.— Mohamed Al Neser (النسر) (@M_Alneser) May 26, 2021
📍 unknown#SyriaNotSafe#SyriaNotSafe#SyriaNotSafe #SyriaFakeElections pic.twitter.com/y7leEfEvNK
Despite many scenes showing Assad loyalists as they flocked into election stations to cast their votes in favor of the president who has been ruling Syria for 21 years, online people have widely criticized the elections, saying they are "fake" and only meant to legitimatize Assad's reign.
Amid the many photos and videos shared on the internet, a few showed a rare scene where several individuals intentionally injured their bodies so they can use their blood instead of ink on the voting card.
Only in the blood crowning of #Assad. The person who should organize the process and ensure the "elections" collect blood directly on the paper.#SyriaFakeElections #Syria pic.twitter.com/5PJSpTI7QK— Mohamed Al Neser (النسر) (@M_Alneser) May 26, 2021
This is what #Assad’s #Syria elections looked like today:— Qutaiba Idlbi قتيبة ادلبي (@Qidlbi) May 26, 2021
Election officials filled out ballots and handed them back to voters to drop in, leaving no room for “democratic” error pic.twitter.com/MsdRdoxfW9
Such practices have been meant to show extreme support for Assad, whose loyalists fought along with him during the 10-years old war chanting: "Either Assad or we will burn the country down."
Of all places, #Assad decided to vote for himself in Douma in Eastern Ghouta!— Zaina Erhaim (@ZainaErhaim) May 26, 2021
In the dictators guidelines, applying “democracy” where you gassed 1.5k people for opposing you will surely get you another term of your inherited presidency to the “republic” of #Syria pic.twitter.com/BGQNjLz4Jo
Assad has also come under fire for appearing along with his wife, Asmaa, as they cast their votes in Douma, the former rebel-town his troops attacked with chemicals in 2018.
Despite relative calm across Syria in recent months, millions of Syrian refugees are still living in diaspora around the world, reporting difficulty returning to their homes as they continue to receive threats of detention or torture by Assad supporters.
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