Like other maximum authority figures, he was not free to discuss these topics, and he also lost his political life. To be elected president, he had to accept to be the person who made all the decisions. In case of noncompliance, he would be held responsible for all his decisions. He might be held responsible if something bad happened. The president was free to write and to publish; however, it was expected that the president behave in a proper way, and his behaviour was controlled.
Dismantle Regime Elements: The regime intensely pressured independent news media outlets, websites, and those who wrote for them to adhere to state ideology. The Assad regime used a wide array of tactics to control the media, including police repression, intimidation, harassment of federal authorities, raids, arbitrary arrests, the confiscation of equipment and media, and economic pressure. In some cases, the regime targeted media outlets that were critical of the government, threatening them with dismissal or closure. The regime also used a number of methods to control critical voices within news media outlets, including threatening their owners, imposing heavy financial penalties, and using government funds to support government-friendly media outlets.
Democracy and Political Activity: Available information suggested that the regime systematically crushed independent civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned human rights defenders.
Democracy Promotion: The regime and its instruments exercised control over the entire country, in turn, making it difficult for domestic or international organizers to conduct legitimate free and fair elections. In December 2015, the regime established a new state council that had the power to approve candidates to national and local elections; the council is chaired by Assad’s brother-in-law. Human rights activists allege that the state council was used to disqualify candidates without allowing their appeals. d2c66b5586