Family members of émigré Farid Ghadry, head of the Syrian Reform Party, want to revoke his citizenship following his visit to Israel two months ago, on the grounds of 'incitement' and 'treachery'.
According to independent Syrian newspaper 'al-Watan', Ghadry's family members who remain in Syria publicly distanced themselves from the opposition leader and began legal proceedings demanding his citizenship be annulled.
They are concurrently trying to dissociate themselves from Farid's father, journalist Nihad Ghadry, who owns and edits the al-Muharer al-Arabi (The Arab Liberator) newspaper, formerly based in Beirut and now published in Paris.
Muin Ghadry, a spokesman for family members both in Syria and abroad, told al-Watan that the only reason legal action has been delayed thus far is the current summer recess of the Syrian judicial authority.
Once the authority resumes work, the family intends to file a legal complaint against Farid Ghadry for his "unrespectable political positions, which attempt to undermine Syria's strong stance and independent population and also tarnish Syria's reputation abroad."
The opposition leader does this, Muin Ghadry said, "by inciting against Syria abroad and among dodgy sources, and additionally by his latest visit to Israel" in June.
Farid Ghadry's most recent visit to Israel provoked the ire of the Syrian leadership, due to his criticism of President Bashar Assad's regime. "This caused harm to befall family members in the Syrian cities of Halab and Idlib, in Jericho and even in the diaspora," Muin Ghadry said.
"These same family members are loyal and ready to sacrifice their lives for Syria and its leader, Bashar Assad," he added.
The family's spokesman expressed his hope that the complaint would be taken seriously by the judicial authority, due to the "great treachery" of Farid Ghadry. "Similar action is required from all Syrians who oppose his stance," he said.
"The family will also publish a notice of dissociation from the well-known Nihad Ghadry, who recently changed his (formerly pro-Assad) position in exchange for material comforts… and thus developed similar interests to (murdered former Lebanese prime minister) Rafik al-Hariri and began allying himself with the man's associates, against Lebanon and Syria," Muin Ghadry added.
This is not the first time Syrian citizens have undertaken to discredit opposition leaders. Former Syrian vice president Abd Al-Halim Khaddam was ostracized following his condemnation of Assad in 2005 and the Syrian parliament demanded he be tried for treason.