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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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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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Reports of Ill-Treatment Show Need for Transparency, Monitoring

(Paris) – Uzbek authorities should immediately and unconditionally release an Afghan citizen whose 13-year imprisonment and alleged torture in custody have only recently become known, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International…
A guard in a solitary confinement block at an unidentified prison in Uzbekistan. Prisoners in solitary confinement in Uzbekistan’s prisons experience cramped cells without bedding—some in total darkness, others with permanent bright lights
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Military and Counter-Terrorism Courts Used to Punish Peaceful Dissent

(New York) – The Syrian government is unlawfully holding tens of thousands of political detainees solely on the basis of their peaceful activity, Human Rights Watch said today in opening a campaign to cast light on their fate. Many have been held for long…
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Many Detained Incommunicado

(New York) – Syrian security forces are arbitrarily arresting and holding peaceful activists incommunicado, despite the government’s commitment under Kofi Annan’s six point plan to release everyone who has been arbitrarily detained. People being arrested…
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End Kidnappings, Forced Confessions, and Executions

(New York) – Armed opposition elements have carried out serious human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today in a public letter to the Syrian National Council (SNC) and other leading Syrian opposition groups. Abuses include kidnapping, detention,…
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Arbitrary Detention, Torture, Discrimination Highlight Government’s Record in 2010

(New York) - Syria's authorities detained political and human rights activists, restricted freedom of expression, repressed its Kurdish minority, and held people incommunicado for lengthy periods, often torturing them, during 2010, Human Rights Watch said…
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19-Year-Old Woman Detained in 2009, Still No Charge

(New York) - The Syrian government should immediately release Tal al-Mallohi, a 19-year-old high school student and blogger held incommunicado without charge for nine months, Human Rights Watch said today. She has been held by Syria's security services…
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Damascus Claims He is Held for Inquiry Into Killing of Lebanon Ex-Premier

(New York) - The Syrian authorities should release Ziad Ramadan, whom the Syrian authorities falsely claim is detained so he can be interviewed by the international body investigating the assassination of Rafic Hariri, former prime minister of Lebanon,…
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No Information About Many Sednaya Detainees Since Violent Response to July 2008 Riot

(New York) - Syrian authorities should make public without further delay the fate of all prisoners whose whereabouts and well-being remain a mystery almost 18 months after security forces put down a riot at the Sednaya prison in July 2008, Human Rights…
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Muhanad al-Hasani Disbarred for Monitoring Trials, Defending Political Activists

(New York) - The Damascus Bar Association should reverse this week's decision to permanently disbar the lawyer and rights activist Muhanad al-Hasani, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch also urged Syrian authorities to free al-Hasani, who is…
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Muhanad al-Hasani Detained for Monitoring Trials, Defending Political Activists

(New York) - The Syrian government should free the lawyer and rights activist Muhanad al-Hasani immediately and unconditionally, Human Rights Watch said today. State Security, one of Syria's multiple intelligence services, detained al-Hasani on July 28…
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Ziad Wasef Ramadan Not Seen Since September 2007

(New York) - Syrian authorities should immediately disclose the whereabouts and the reasons for the detention of Ziad Wasef Ramadan and free him unless there is credible evidence that he committed a crime, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights…
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Free Kamal Labwani, Rights Activist Serving 12-Year Sentence After Unfair Trial

(London) - Syrian authorities should immediately free Dr. Kamal Labwani, a prominent political and human rights activist, following a UN finding that his detention is arbitrary and thus unlawful, a group of leading human rights organizations said today.…
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Detention of Kurds and Suspected Islamists for Months Raises Grave Concerns

(New York) - Syrian authorities should reveal the fate of at least 17 men held in incommunicado detention by members of the security services since August and September 2008, Human Rights Watch said today. The security services detained 13 men during an…
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Nawar `Abboud Disappeared Following Detention by Military Intelligence

(Beirut) - Lebanese authorities should disclose all available information on the whereabouts of Nawar `Abboud, who disappeared three months ago after Lebanese Military Intelligence detained him in Tripoli, Human Rights Watch and the Lebanese Center for…
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EU and US Should Engage Damascus to Abolish Repressive Court

(New York) - Syrian authorities should abolish the Supreme State Security Court (SSSC), a special court that exists outside the ordinary criminal justice system to prosecute those perceived as challenging the government, Human Rights Watch said in a…
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Three Groups File Lawsuit Seeking Information about ‘Ghost’ Detention

(New York) – In the most comprehensive accounting to date, six leading human rights organizations today published the names and details of 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret US custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. The…
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Council of Europe Rejects Minimum Standards for Diplomatic Assurances

A Council of Europe expert group has rightly decided not to develop guidelines for the acceptable use of diplomatic assurances to justify sending people to places where they are at risk of torture, Human Rights Watch said today. “We welcome this decision…