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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Arbitrary Detentions for Independent Reporting, Criticizing Government

(New York) – The Chinese authorities have stepped-up arbitrary detentions of journalists and activists reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues, or criticizing the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the beginning of…
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Letter to International Olympic Committee Urges Human Rights Risk Assessment

(New York) –The Chinese government’s heightened repression from Xinjiang to Hong Kong threatens its hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach. The…
Photo of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games logo in Zhangjiakou City where the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will take place, September 17, 2020, Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, China. © 2020 Imaginechina via AP Images
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Inadequate Steps to Assist 47 Canadians in Dire Conditions

Canada is failing to take adequate steps to assist and repatriate dozens of Canadians unlawfully detained in dire conditions for alleged Islamic State (also known as ISIS) links in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
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Syrians Returned to Streets Over Economic Meltdown

(Beirut) – Syrian security forces responded to a protest in the city of Sweida on June 15 by beating and arresting protesters demonstrating against the government’s failure to address the country’s economic meltdown, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
People hold up banners at a protest in Sweida on June 9, 2020
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Mass Graves Hold Thousands, Investigations Needed

(Beirut) – The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) used a gorge in northeast Syria as a dumping ground for the bodies of people it had abducted or detained, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. A Human Rights Watch investigation and…
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Bring Home Other French Children Trapped There

(Toulouse) – Human Rights Watch and nine other organizations issued the following statement on April 21, 2020: We, the undersigned civil society organizations have learned of the alarming situation of young Taymia, a 7-year-old child of…
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Countries Should Bring Their Citizens Home, Improve Detention Sites

(Beirut) – A Kurdish-led armed group backed by the United States-led coalition against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is detaining thousands of Syrian and foreign men and boys in severely overcrowded informal detention centers in northeast…
Detainees in what The Times of London describes as an informal detention center for Islamic State (ISIS) suspects in northeast Syria.
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Dozens of Australian Children Held in Camps in Dire Conditions

(Sydney) – The Australian government should bring home Australian children of parents who may have joined armed groups and who are living in deplorable conditions in camps in Syria, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Save the Children…
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Collective Punishment of Relatives Under Overbroad Terrorism Law

  (Beirut) – The Syrian government is punishing entire families of people placed arbitrarily on a list of alleged terrorists by freezing their assets, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should end collective…
A checkpoint in the Syrian city of Daraa.
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Families Form Group to Seek Answers from Anti-ISIS Coalition

(Paris) – Families whose relatives disappeared in the custody of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) while the group controlled parts of Syria are struggling to learn what happened to their relatives, Human Rights Watch said. The…
Images provided by families of their relatives who went missing in ISIS custody. © 2019 Human Rights Watch
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Rights Groups Urge Key Countries to Press for Information

Today, eight Syrian civil society and international human rights organizations called on a number of UN Security Council member states to urgently address the widespread arbitrary detentions, kidnapping, torture and other-ill treatment, and enforced…
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Transfers to China Would Risk Torture, Unfair Trials

(Hong Kong) – The Hong Kong government should withdraw proposed revisions to two laws concerning extradition, Human Rights Watch said today in a joint letter to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam. The amended laws would allow the transfer of…
In this Oct. 10, 2018, photo, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a question and answer session after delivering her policy speech at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.
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Satellite Imagery Reveals Large-Scale Destruction of Buildings

(New York) – Protecting civilians should be a key priority for the US-led coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) makes its last territorial stand in Syria, Human Rights Watch said…
Satellite-analysis of US-led coalition air strike locations in Baghuz (19 January - 20 February 2019)
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Fifteen Years for One Click on Terrorist-Related Content

(London) – The United Kingdom Parliament should scrap provisions in a new counterterrorism bill that excessively restrict freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and privacy, Human Rights Watch said today. The draft law punishes a…
An armed police officer stands guard outside the Houses of Parliament in London, April 2017.
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Use September 7 Meeting to Address Arbitrary Detentions, Disappearances, Abductions

(Beirut) – The Astana working group on detentions and abductions in the Syrian conflict should take immediate steps to address the Syrian government’s arbitrary detentions, torture of detainees, and enforced disappearances, 11 human…
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lock hands during a group photo in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. © 2018 Tolga Bozoglu/Pool Photo via AP
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27 People Kidnapped During Attack on Village Still Held

(Beirut) – Islamic State (also known as ISIS) fighters are holding at least 27 people hostage, including at least 16 children, in southern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. Local residents say that ISIS is holding the hostages in…
Syrians inspect the site of a suicide attack in Sweida, Syria on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. © 2018 SANA via AP
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Local Group Struggling to Recover Bodies, Preserve Evidence

(Beirut) – A local group working to uncover mass graves in the area of northeastern Syria once controlled by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) needs international support and technical assistance to preserve evidence of possible…
Members of the First Responders Team in Raqqa city, Syria exhume a body from a mass grave at the al-Rashid playing field.
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Foreign ISIS Detainees Raise Due Process, Victim Participation Issues

(Beirut) – The capture of two British men suspected of involvement in the Islamic State’s (also known as ISIS) torture and execution of Western hostages highlights the need to provide trials for ISIS suspects that respect due process…
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces removes an Islamic State flag in the town of Tabqa, west of Raqqa city, Syria, April 30, 2017. © 2017 Getty Images
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images