• Syria’s armed conflict escalated as the government intensified its attacks and began using increasingly deadly and indiscriminate weapons, culminating in a chemical weapons attack on the Damascus countryside on August 21, 2013. Government forces and pro-government militias also continued to torture detainees and commit executions. Armed opposition forces, including a growing number of pro-opposition foreign fighters, also carried out serious abuses including indiscriminate attacks on civilians, executions, kidnapping, and torture. The spread and intensification of fighting led to a dire humanitarian crisis with millions internally displaced or seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
  • A mother and father weep over the body of their child, who was killed in an alleged chemical weapons attack on Ghouta, Syria, on August 21, 2013.
    Justice remains elusive for the victims of the chemical weapons attacks on Ghouta, near Damascus, which killed hundreds of people, Human Rights Watch said today, on the anniversary of the August 21, 2013 attacks.

Reports

Syria

  • Aug 21, 2014
    Justice remains elusive for the victims of the chemical weapons attacks on Ghouta, near Damascus, which killed hundreds of people, Human Rights Watch said today, on the anniversary of the August 21, 2013 attacks.
  • Aug 20, 2014
    The execution of the freelance journalist James Foley on August 19, 2014 in Syria by the Islamic State would be a war crime if confirmed. Groups detaining journalists should immediately and unconditionally release them.
  • Aug 14, 2014
    Horrific accounts by former detainees in Syria corroborate allegations of mass deaths in custody by a military defector. Four former detainees released from the Sednaya military prison in 2014 described deaths in custody and harsh prison conditions that closely match the allegations of the defector, who photographed thousands of dead bodies in military hospitals in Damascus.
  • Aug 12, 2014
    Nidal, a 36-year old Palestinian has been stranded in a Syrian village near the Jordanian border with four of his siblings since February. Jordan deported them, confiscating their identity documents, leaving them no option but to stay in a conflict zone. They rely on the charity of local residents to survive.
  • Aug 5, 2014
    Non-state armed groups should immediately release the at least 54 women and children they have held hostage since opening a military offensive in rural Latakia governorate over one year ago, on August 4, 2013.
  • Jul 30, 2014
    The Syrian government is raining high explosive barrel bombs on civilians in defiance of a unanimous United Nations Security Council resolution. Resolution 2139 of February 22, 2014, ordered all parties to the conflict in Syria to end the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs and other weapons in populated areas.
  • Jul 22, 2014
    The United Nations Security Council finally adopted a resolution authorizing UN agencies and their implementing partners to deliver aid across the Syrian border without requiring the government’s consent. The government had completely ignored a February resolution calling for it to let aid reach all parts of the country, including areas controlled by armed groups
  • Jul 18, 2014
    Scores of civil society activists, human rights defenders, media and humanitarian workers remain in arbitrary detention in Syria more than a month after the government declared a general amnesty, twelve nongovernmental organizations said today. Syrian officials should immediately release all activists arbitrarily held for their legitimate activities and allow independent international monitors inside Syria’s detention facilities to monitor the releases and conditions of confinement.
  • Jul 14, 2014
  • Jul 2, 2014
    After surviving detention in Syria, a flight to Lebanon, and a move to Turkey, Kinda, a Syrian activist and refugee, was facing a new kind of terror – death threats. She explained this to the Human Rights Watch researcher Hillary Margolis as they sipped tea in a dimly lit room off the courtyard of a Turkish café, surrounded by dark wood furniture and richly colored pillows.