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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
In July, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that “promoting human rights is an essential aim of the foreign policy of a Global Britain. To do otherwise would be unthinkable”.  Yemen – site of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and an…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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The admission by the UK government that the Saudi-led coalition used UK-made BL-755 cluster munitions during the armed conflict in Yemen, comes months after Amnesty International and British media outlets reported that these weapons had been used in the…
A UK-manufactured bomb struck storage hangars in Hodaida on January 6, 2016. The hangars stored school furniture, car parts, dry and canned food. Two of them contained production workshops for zinc sheeting and metal fencing grates.
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Part of the challenge with documenting the fast-moving war in Syria is that research can become outdated as soon as it’s published. For example, last Thursday, Human Rights Watch issued a new report on more than 47 cluster munition…
Mena Syria Rrussia cluster munitions 6
News
It is a striking sight: Dozens of brightly burning objects light up the night, slowly descending to the ground. It looks like a magnificent display of fireworks, but the burning objects are incendiary weapons designed to destroy…
Local Civil Defence Forces extinguishing flames in tent after Syrian government forces shelling hit Khirmash displaced persons camp in Syria on Turkey’s border on April 14, 2016.
News
You can always tell a policy development is significant when it’s released late Friday afternoon – and before a holiday weekend to boot. The decision by the United States to “hold” further transfers of CBU-105 cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia is a…
Two BLU-108 canisters, one with two skeet (submunitions) still attached, found in the al-Amar area of al-Safraa in Saada governorate, northern Yemen after an attack on April 27.
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…
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Syrian asylum-seekers are the largest component of the latest refugee surge to Europe. Germany has been extraordinarily generous in providing a refuge. But with four million refugees having fled Syria’s daily atrocities and more waiting in the wings, we…
Relatives mourn as a man carries the body of a dead boy in a blanket at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Sheikh Khodr area in Aleppo on September 30, 2014.
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“I know what that is!” an 8-year-old exclaimed as he interrupted us explaining recently what cluster munitions are to people displaced by the war in Yemen. “They are big bombs that break up into many smaller bombs in the air.” That’s as good an…
An informal camp outside the village of Bani Hassan housing thousands of people internally displaced by the war, most as a result of the ongoing airstrikes in northern Yemen
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Hundreds of people were shopping or selling fresh produce and livestock at the weekly market in al-Amar village in Yemen one Monday in late April when the sky suddenly filled with more than three dozen small parachutes. Over the next two hours residents…
A submunition from a BLU-108 canister from a CBU-105 Senor Fuzed Weapon found by the main road between Sanaa and Saada, about 250 meters south of the al-Amar village on May 16, 2015.
News
The victims have been children playing outdoors, pedestrians walking down the street, workers pressing olive oil, and even families in their homes. While the world has been focused on whether the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, the Syrian…
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The family of a Gitmo detainee twice cleared for transfer remains pessimistic, despite Obama's speech vowing reform

Muhammad al-Baidhani, an 11-year-old Yemeni boy with a mop of brown curls, only knows his father from photos and a one-hour video conference every two months. Before Muhammad was born, his father was captured and sent to the U.S. military prison at…
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The last time Amina al-Rabeii video conferenced from Yemen with her brother Salman, a detainee at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, she barely recognized the skeletal man on the screen. “His eyes were sunken into dark recesses,” al-…
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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…
News
It was cloudy the afternoon of January 3 when residents say the cluster bombs fell on the Syrian town of Latamneh. Three rockets containing the cluster munitions fell in nearby fields, apparently doing no harm, but a fourth landed on the street between…
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The candidates may disagree on some human rights issues, but the next president will face challenges that transcend partisan lines. How might tomorrow's presidential election affect U.S. policy on human rights? The common wisdom is that unlike their sharp…