• 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

  • Sep 24, 2014
  • Sep 18, 2014
    Bulgarian border police have in the past month forced Syrian asylum seekers back to Turkey and beaten some of them.
  • Sep 16, 2014
  • Sep 5, 2014
    The Syrian government should immediately and unconditionally release the arbitrarily detained human rights defender Mazen Darwish and his colleagues Hani Al-Zitani and Hussein Ghareer, 79 organizations said today. The Syrian Anti-Terrorism Court is expected to issue its verdict on September 24, 2014 in their trial for “publicizing terrorist acts.”
  • Sep 5, 2014
    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s gruesome staged-for-maximum-horror murders of the kidnapped American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff in northern Syria have underlined the high risk of reporting on the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in Syria and Iraq. Their murders bring to 67 the number of journalists killed in Syria from work-related causes since 2011, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In Iraq, 165 journalists have been killed since 2003.
  • Sep 2, 2014
    With the number of Syrian refugees in the Middle East hitting 3 million, it's worth examining how the United States and other countries not on the frontline of the conflict have stepped in to help countries like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. These countries have the misfortune to be neighbors not only of Syria, but of Iraq and Israel/Palestine as well, other places that have been the source of millions of refugees.
  • Sep 1, 2014
    Credible evidence has emerged that Islamic State forces used ground-fired cluster munitions in at least one location in northern Syria in recent weeks, Human Rights Watch said today. The use of cluster munitions by non-state actors such as the Islamic State shows the urgent need for Syria and all nations that have not yet done so to join the ban on cluster munitions and destroy their stockpiles.
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Aug 28, 2014

    We who work to promote human rights operate in the realm of treaties, rule of law, and state responsibility.

  • 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.