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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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Media, Aid Workers, Activists, and Families Targeted

  (Beirut) – Syrian intelligence branches are arbitrarily detaining, disappearing, and harassing people in areas retaken from anti-government groups, Human Rights Watch said today. The abuse is taking place even…
A checkpoint in the Syrian city of Daraa.
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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…
News

Move to Solidify Control, Silence Critics

(Beirut) – An armed group with links to al-Qaeda has in recent months arbitrarily arrested scores of residents in areas under their control in Idlib, Hama, and Aleppo governorates, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights…
New fighters of the al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham attend a mock battle in anticipation of an attack by Syrian government forces on northern Idlib province and the surrounding countryside, August 14, 2018.
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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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State Protection Required for Lawyer and Inmate who Exposed Torture in Yaroslavl Prison

That torture is rampant in many Russian prisons and detention facilities, with little consequences for perpetrators, is widely known among Russia’s human rights defenders, lawyers, and journalists. Last week the United Nation’s expert torture-monitoring…
Irina Biryukova, a lawyer with Public Verdict representing Evgeny Makarov, Moscow, 2018.
News
In the last few weeks, hundreds of Syrian families learned that their loved ones who had disappeared in government detention facilities had died. Many said that they found out as they requested routine records from the Syrian…
cover syria report
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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
News

Investigate Killings, Abductions of Foreign Men

  (Beirut) – Iraqi authorities are holding more than 1,400 foreign women and their children who surrendered with ISIS fighters in late August 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The detentions appear to have no legal…
Iraqi Ministry of Transportation buses taking internally displaced families to Hammam al-Alil in May 2017. In late August, Iraqi authorities bused 1,400 foreign women and children to the site. © 2017 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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Create Independent Body to Investigate Missing Persons

(Beirut, August 30, 2017) – International backers of negotiations to end the conflict in Syria should ensure that any transitional process includes a robust independent body to investigate thousands of “disappeared,” Human Rights…
A mother shows a picture of her son, who was detained by authorities in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, Syria, March 20, 2016. She has not heard any news about her son since then.
News

Risk of Torture, Ill-Treatment

  UPDATE: On August 4, the European Court of Human Rights issued a preliminary injunction ordering Russia not to deport Khodoberdi Nurmatov to Uzbekistan, until the court can review his case.   (Moscow) – An Uzbek…
Ali Feruz at Basmanny district court in Moscow waiting for his hearing in the evening of August 1, 2017.
News

Victims of Punitive Round-Ups Still in Danger

(New York) – Police in Chechnya rounded up, beat, and humiliated dozens of gay or bisexual men in an apparent effort to purge them from Chechen society, Human Rights Watch confirmed in a new report today. Russian federal authorities…
A victim of the purge telling his story in a safe house in central Russia in April 2017.
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"If the Dead Could Speak" reveals some of the human stories behind the more than 28,000 photos of deaths in government custody that were smuggled out of Syria and first came to public attention in January 2014. The report lays out new evidence…
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A Russian military court has just sentenced a Ukrainian filmmaker from Crimea, Oleg Sentsov, to 20 years in jail for supposedly running a “terrorist organization.” His alleged accomplice, Crimean activist Olexander Kolchenko, received a 10-year term for…
Oleg Sentsov