• 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 Syrian protester takes part in a protest calling for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to step down, in front of the Syrian embassy in Amman, Jordan.
    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.

Reports

Syria

  • 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.
  • Jul 2, 2014
    Women in Syria have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, physically abused, harassed, and tortured during Syria’s conflict by government forces, pro-government militias, and armed groups opposed to the government, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) will conduct a review of the situation for Syrian women on July 4, 2014, in Geneva.
  • Jun 30, 2014
    The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) should immediately release the estimated 133 Kurdish boys it has held hostage in northern Syria for a month.
  • Jun 26, 2014
    Analysis of photographs and satellite imagery strongly indicates that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) conducted mass executions in Tikrit after seizing control of the city on June 11, 2014.
  • Jun 24, 2014
  • Jun 22, 2014
    Non-state armed groups in Syria have used children as young as 15 to fight in battles, sometimes recruiting them under the guise of offering education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The groups have used children as young as 14 in support roles. Extremist Islamist groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) have specifically recruited children through free schooling campaigns that include weapons training, and have given them dangerous tasks, including suicide bombing missions.
  • Jun 18, 2014
    Kurdish authorities running three enclaves in northern Syria have committed arbitrary arrests, due process violations, and failed to address unsolved killings and disappearances, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.