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Court Orders Government to Stop Use of Welfare Surveillance Program

Yesterday, a Netherlands court ordered the Dutch government to halt its use of SyRI, an automated program that analyzes a wide range of personal and sensitive data to predict how likely people are to commit tax or benefits fraud. The ruling…
Social housing seen in Rotterdam, Netherlands, January 1, 2016.
News
Courts held hearings on a lawsuit by a number of groups concerned at the draconian Dutch system in late October, with a decision awaited in January. The Netherlands is consistently ranked as one of the world’s strongest democracies.…
201911bhr_eca_welfareSyRI
News
The endgame of the war in Syria is likely to come down to the northwestern province of Idlib, on the Turkish border, where some 2.3 million people are now trapped. As Russian-Syrian forces now finish retaking the smaller southwestern…
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

Amid Ongoing Bombings, More Protection Needed for Education

In areas of Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Syria’s capital Damascus held by anti-government armed groups, schools have closed for fear that Syrian and Russian warplanes will bomb them. Instead, local residents have opened informal schools…
Children walk through the rubble of the Tamayuz (“Excellence”) kindergarten in the town of Hamouriyeh after it was hit by a Syrian-Russian airstrike on November 8, 2017. © 2017 Private
News

Death of Detained Activist Puts Spotlight on Syria’s Ghastly Prison System

Yesterday Noura Safadi said that she had received confirmation that the Syrian authorities executed her husband, Bassel (Safadi) Khartabil, two years ago. Noura had been looking for Bassel since he disappeared from a Syrian prison in…
Bassel Khartabil
News

Recent Attacks on Saraqeb Caught on Video

Videos and photographs taken last weekend in the city of Saraqeb, in northwestern Syria, show the unmistakably bright trails produced by incendiary weapons. The ZAB incendiary submunitions used in the attacks are delivered by RBK-500 bombs and contain…
Screenshot of a video taken in April 2017 in Saraqeb, northwestern Syria, showing the bright trails produced by incendiary weapons.
News

Video Footage Shows Incendiary Weapons Mounted on Russian Attack Aircraft

Several major media outlets are reporting that Russia’s state-run television has broadcasted footage appearing to show Russian aircraft at its airbase in Syria equipped with “cluster bombs.” The clip was deleted from YouTube after analysts published the…
Footage showing what Human Rights Watch arms experts have identified as RBK-500 ZAB-2.5SM incendiary bombs mounted on a Russian attack aircraft at a Russian air base in Syria, June 18, 2016.
News
“Urban areas have become death traps for thousands of civilians,” says a new report issued by the United Nations Secretary-General ahead of the first World Humanitarian Summit, which opens May 23, 2016, in Istanbul. The report describes the widespread use…
News
In his first report to the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday,  the UN special rapporteur for the right to privacy,  Joseph Cannataci, laid out an ambitious agenda for addressing the growing concern about protection of privacy in the trans-border…
News
For weeks, the Syrian Air Force had been bombing the Damascus suburb of Daraya. But on the morning of Nov. 16, 2012, something was different. An anti-government activist who filmed the attack told my organization, Human Rights Watch, that MiG fighter…
News
It is the end of the school day, teenage students gather in the playground before heading home. An aircraft buzzes overhead. A second later, chaos – at least 10 are dead and dozens wounded. Video images of the young victims – the dead, dying and severely…
News
Last week, life changed for 12-year-old “Aziza.” She had just arrived at her grandparents’ apartment in Aleppo with her family when she heard the sound of a jet and then a huge explosion. “Suddenly, it was all covered in dust,” Aziza said. “I heard my…