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May 19, 2022 The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada Langevin Block, 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A3 Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Human Rights Watch writes to you today to highlight the urgent need for action…
Fighters with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces deploy around al-Sina’a prison in the Ghweran district of al-Hasakah, northeast Syria, on January 25, 2022, midway through the 10-day battle to recapture it from the Islamic State (ISIS). © 2022 AFP Photo via Getty Images
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Four Dozen Canadians Languish in Squalid Camps

April marks the beginning of Ramadan for Muslims worldwide, a month of fasting, patience, and compassion that many here in Canada will mark surrounded by friends and family. But for some Canadian-Muslims, there is little to celebrate given the…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
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Obstructing Care for Detained Woman, Child Flouts Government Policy

Canada is effectively preventing a Canadian woman and a young Canadian child detained in northeast Syria from coming home for life-saving medical care despite a Canadian policy allowing them to do so, Human Rights Watch said today. That policy allows…
A woman poses wearing a hijab
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HRW Submission to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

December 6, 2021 1. Introduction This submission is based on Human Rights Watch’s research on human rights issues impacting older people, with a focus on rights in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, the right to live independently and…
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Protect and Clarify Conditions of Detainees Recaptured from ISIS

(New York) – The Kurdish-led armed force in northeast Syria should ensure the humane treatment of all men and boys it has evacuated or recaptured from a prison that the Islamic State (ISIS) assaulted and held for several days, Human Rights Watch said…
Fighters with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces deploy around al-Sina’a prison in the Ghweran district of al-Hasakah, northeast Syria, on January 25, 2022, midway through the 10-day battle to recapture it from the Islamic State (ISIS). © 2022 AFP Photo via Getty Images
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International Action Needed to Resolve Broader Detention Crisis

(Beirut) – Kurdish-led regional fighters backed by US and UK military forces recaptured a prison in northeast Syria that Islamic State (ISIS) fighters had held for six days on January 26, 2022. At least 284 people died during the assault and…
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Unlawful Syrian-Russian Alliance Attack Strikes Civilians

Update December 13, 2021: After publication, Human Rights Watch interviewed a knowledgeable source who said he observed at least seven large-caliber artillery shells being fired into Ariha on October 20 at 8 a.m.. He said they had been fired from a…
A man stands amongst rubble in an apartment building
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Education Ministry Should Remove Barriers; Extend Registration Deadline

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s Education Ministry should extend the December 4, 2021, school registration deadline for Syrian children and end policies that are blocking Syrian refugee children’s access to education, Human Rights Watch said today. Thousands of…
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UN Should Reauthorize Crucial Help from Neighboring Countries

Millions of Syrians risk losing access to lifesaving aid, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, if Russia vetoes reauthorizing the only remaining UN aid corridor from Turkey into opposition-held northwest Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
UN humanitarian aid trucks enter northwest Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on June 1, 2021
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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
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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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Set Principled Framework for Aid, Protection, Justice

(Brussels) – The European Union-United Nations sponsored aid conference for Syria on March 29-30, 2021, should prioritize a rights-respecting aid framework that advances urgent protection, humanitarian, and accountability needs, Human Rights Watch…
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Countries should bring Citizens Home; Ensure Due Process for ISIS Suspects

Nearly 43,000 foreign men, women, and children linked to ISIS remain detained in inhuman or degrading conditions by regional authorities in northeast Syria, two years after they were rounded up during the fall of the Islamic State “caliphate,” often…
A boy flies a home-made kite in the foreigners’ section of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria on March 15, 2021.
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When history reflects on the Syrian conflict, a defining hallmark will be the Syrian government’s deliberate targeting of civilians. Backed by Russian forces, the government has rained bombs on markets, hospitals, schools, and homes. In 2019 and 2020,…
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The Russian military marked the fifth anniversary of its intervention in the armed conflict in Syria on September 30. The consequences have been devastating for many Syrian civilians, with hundreds of thousands killed and millions more forced to flee…
Woman and child in rubble in Idlib
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Close Legal Loopholes to Prevent Further Civilian Suffering

(Geneva) – The horrific burns and life-long suffering caused by incendiary weapons demand that governments urgently revise existing treaty standards, Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic said in a report…
اوربلونکې وسله چې د ۲۰۱۶ کال د جون پر ۲۲مه د سوريې د حلب ښار پر کفر همراه کلي لګېدلې ده.
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Unlawful Attacks on Hospitals, Schools, Markets Forced Idlib Population Out

The Syrian and Russian armed forces’ repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure in Idlib in northwest Syria were apparent war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Dozens of unlawful air…
A woman in a black niqab and face mask walks through a deserted street with a child
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Local Authorities Should Prioritize Finding the Missing

(Beirut) – Local authorities in northern Syria have failed to advance efforts to find people kidnapped by ISIS more than a year after its territorial defeat in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should promptly dedicate resources to…
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