Landmines placed decades ago by the Turkish military have killed at least three civilians trying to flee Syria and injured at least nine others. The landmines, in a restricted zone along the border with Syria, threaten thousands more Syrian refugees.
Egyptian authorities have referred hundreds of civilians to military courts based on an October 2014 decree by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. At least 820 civilians have been referred to military prosecutors in the past six weeks based on the unprecedented extension of military court authority, according to news reports compiled by Human Rights Watch.
The United Nations agency charged with combating illicit drug trafficking should withdraw its support for counter-narcotics police operations in Iran until the death penalty for drug offenses is abolished, six rights groups said in a letter published today. The groups made the plea after Iran’s judiciary hanged 18 alleged drug traffickers within 24 hours on December 3, 2014, bringing the number of drug offenders executed in the country during 2014 to at least 318.
Any approach to Syria should be judged by its ability to stop the daily abuses against civilians. Advocates of local ceasefires must strive for a balance between immediate relief from the daily suffering and commitment to basic rights and the aspirations of Syrians.
Ongoing impunity for serious crimes committed during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has undermined the trust needed to bring about a durable, just peace. But a move by Palestine or Israel to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) could ensure access to international justice for victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity on both sides.
Chairman Wolf, Chairman McGovern, members of the Commission: thank you for inviting me to testify today. This is an important hearing. I would like to share some insights from my recent trip to Iraq where the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, is one, but not the only entity, perpetrating gross and widespread violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
There is not much to celebrate this Human Rights Day. Grave abuses are committed daily in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Refugees from Syria and Iraq are going hungry as neighboring countries gradually close their borders and international support dwindles. Egypt’s judiciary – once an institution that prided itself on its independence — is issuing death sentences by the hundreds without any semblance of due process. Sectarian hatred fills the airwaves while bloggers who criticize their rulers are thrown in jail. Meanwhile, women are treated as second-class citizens in almost all countries in the Arab world.
Jordanian authorities have broken reform promises by arresting and charging activists for speech-related offenses. At least three activists were arrested in recent months and charged with speech-related offenses under vague terrorism legislation and are being tried in Jordan’s State Security Court.