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Schools should be a sanctuary - a place where children can learn, develop and play with their classmates, and prepare for their future lives in society. Education is a right for every child in this world, no matter where they live or how poor they are.…
Nepalese children in a class provided by an international aid organization inside a primary school in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Kathmandu
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Schools are for education not war
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Once soldiers make classrooms their home, the school can become a military target
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Military use of schools and universities
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Canadian students taking part in an exercise to urge Justin Trudeau to sign the Safe Schools Declaration and help end attacks on and military use of schools.
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In some countries, there is one thing that students fear more than a maths test: the AK47
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United Nations peacekeepers from Pakistan using a school building in Mourouba, Ouaka province, as their base in violation of UN guidelines and regulations. The forces left the school in January 2017 after Human Rights Watch informed UN authorities.
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An eager student leads her class in learning the alphabet in September 2015 at a displacement camp housed at a school in Maiduguri, Borno state. © 2015 Bede Sheppard, Human Rights Watch
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An Afghan policeman stands guard at the entrance of a local school sponsored by Japan’s International Cooperation Agency in Kandahar City May 11, 2010. © 2010 Nikola Solic / Reuters
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Schools not battlegrounds
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Students line up at the end of the day at a school in Sana’a, Yemen
News
The Syrian government had also forcibly disappeared, arbitrarily detained, tortured, and ill-treated medics and lawyers providing assistance to the wounded and detained, and subjected them to unfair trials. Lawyers working on behalf of political detainees…
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The Syrian government has arbitrarily arrested, disappeared, tortured, and ill-treated humanitarian aid workers, and subjected them to unfair trials because of the assistance they provide. This violates Syria’s obligations under international humanitarian…
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Syria remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for professional and citizen journalists, media technicians, Internet activists, and those who defend freedom of expression. In 2012, the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Syria as the most…
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Since the early days of the March 2011 uprising, Syrian security forces have targeted peaceful political activists involved in organizing, filming, participating in, and reporting on protests. Security forces have forcibly disappeared activists, held them…
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Daraya, Damascus Countryside Governorate

Islam al-Dabbas had participated in peaceful protests in Daraya, a suburb of Damascus where in the early months of the uprising, people offered water and flowers to the army and security forces trying to end demonstrations. Now his brother Mohamed…
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Damascus, Damascus Governorate

On the morning of October 2, 2012, a friend of Khalil Maatouk was driving him to work, as health problems prevented the 53-year-old lawyer from getting around on his own. At 9:45 a.m. Khalil’s friend, Mohamed Zaza, answered a phone call from his wife.…
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Daraya, Damascus Countryside Governorate

Government forces arrested Ghada and Sawsan al-Abbar together on December 21, 2012 in the town of Daraya, just outside of Damascus. Ghada, 31, a lawyer, worked with a group of other lawyers hoping to start an organization to document human rights abuses.…
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Damascus, Damascus Governorate

On March 13, 2013, security forces broke into the downtown Damascus office where Nidal Nahlawi and his friends were planning relief operations and arrested them. A few weeks later, agents took Nidal to watch them arrest his wife, then returned him to…
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Damascus, Damascus Governorate

On the night of September 20, 2012, Syrian security forces stormed Mohamed Meqdad’s house in Damascus and searched every room, looking for medicine they believed he was distributing to protesters wounded by government fire, said a close relative present…
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Homs, Homs Governorate

After months in detention, 20-year-old Mohamed Atfah was a changed person by the time he encountered another detainee from Homs, his hometown. Mohamed had so deteriorated mentally and physically that he was no longer able to recognize people around him,…
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Damascus, Damascus Governorate

"The people who are in real danger never leave their countries," Bassel Khartabil tweeted weeks before his arrest, Foreign Policy magazine reported. "They are in danger for a reason and for that they don't leave." So Bassel stayed, only to be arrested on…
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Ali al-Shehabi is a Syrian writer of Palestinian parents who lived in Yarmouk Camp, a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. A liberal thinker, he spent 10 years in prison after the security forces arrested him in 1982 on the false accusation of being a…
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On May 14, 2011, for unknown reasons, some of Anas al-Shoghary’s friends and one of his relatives betrayed him, reporting his activism to the security forces. Military Intelligence agents arrested the 24-year-old Anas in the city of al-Marah in Tartous…
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Daraya, Damascus Countryside Governorate

As a preacher for years at the Anas Ben Malek Mosque in Daraya, Abdul-Akram Al-Sakka promoted freedom and peace without openly criticizing the Syrian government. Security forces arrested him on July 15, 2011, and his family still doesn’t know why. “The…
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Security forces arrested 19-year-old Mohamed Nour al-Shemali on December 1, 2012, as he walked through the gates of Aleppo University, a friend told Human Rights Watch. Mohamed and a second friend were on their way to interview internally displaced…
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Before the current Syrian uprising, Hussein Essou, 65, worked to protect local farmers in the northeastern province of al-Hassaka from a sale of agricultural lands to the government. He had sought a meeting with President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the…
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Yehia and Mohamed Shorbaji - Peaceful Political Activists Yehia Shorbaji is known in his hometown of Daraya as “the man with the roses,” because, friends and family said, he came up with the idea of giving flowers to the members of the security forces…
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Prohibition of homosexual conduct The 2005 Constitution bans marriage between persons of the same sex, but no previous law prohibited homosexual conduct in Burundi. By adopting such a prohibition, the Assembly has gone against the worldwide trend of…