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Limited Community Outreach Blunts Impact of Accountability Efforts

A German court in the town of Koblenz this week will render its first verdict in a historic trial of two former Syrian officials for atrocities during Syria’s decade-long brutal armed conflict. The two accused in the case are an alleged former…
Photos of Syrians who have been detained or disappeared set up by Families for Freedom, as part of a protest in front of the court in Koblenz, July 2, 2020. 
News

Beijing Blocks Clubhouse App to Stop ‘Political’ Conversations

On Monday night, Clubhouse, the red-hot app where people can create chatrooms that disappear after use, became inaccessible in China, presumably blocked by the authorities. Many had expected this to happen, but some were still surprised by how fast…
Logos of social media platforms including Clubhouse, center, are seen on an iPhone 12.
News

But Little Action Holding Beijing Accountable

“His wife wore veils.” “He has one more child than allowed by the family planning policy.” “He prayed after each meal.” These are some of the reasons people in Karakax County in Xinjiang, northwestern China, are being detained in “political…
Government social media post in April 2017 shows detainees in a political education camp in Lop County, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang.
News

Government Should Pursue Full Investigations, Fair Trials

The Australian government is taking an important step by helping eight Australian children of suspects of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) return home from northeast Syria. The children were held for months without charge under horrific…
Rusafa Central Criminal Court in Baghdad.
News

Countries Should Account for Living and Dead in Syria, Other Wars

Today, the United Nations Security Council passed its first resolution on missing persons in armed conflicts, seizing a key opportunity to strengthen efforts toward uncovering the fates of those missing and giving closure to countless…
cover syria report
News

Congress Should Press Sundar Pichai Over Project Dragonfly

Google CEO Sundar Pichai will be in the hot seat tomorrow when he testifies before the United States House Judiciary Committee following an outcry over its plans to re-enter the Chinese search market. A coalition of more than…
News

Authorities Digitally Erase Even Past Critical Speech

Since early November, the Chinese government has been targeting Twitter users in China as part of a nationwide crackdown on social media – even though Twitter is blocked in the country. Authorities have detained or summoned dozens or…
201811freespeech_internet_twitter
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

Small Case in Sweden a Worthy Start

The photograph is disturbing. A young man in military fatigues is standing on dead bodies looking victorious. The posture of the Syrian soldier, with a grin suggesting pride and his military boot on a victim’s chest, suggests domination…
Stockholm District Court, where most of Sweden’s war crimes cases are adjudicated.
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

Chongqing’s Ban on Circumvention Tools Could Set Dangerous Precedent

Chinese “netizens” are known for nimbly “scaling the Great Firewall” to get around government barriers that prevent them from accessing certain information abroad. Their interests are surprisingly diverse: Some look for news critical of the Chinese…
President Xi Jinping speaks at the opening ceremony of the 2nd annual World Internet Conference in Jiaxing, China on December 16, 2015.
News

How China’s Censorship Undermines its Own Goal

Within hours of the February 14 knife attack in Pishan county, Xinjiang, China’s state media released identical reports: Three assailants attacked people in a residential district, killing five while injuring another five, and the assailants were killed…
Han Chinese residents hold a Chinese national flag as paramilitary policemen in riot gear block a road at the centre of Urumqi in China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region September 3, 2009.
News
Seeking justice for the ongoing grave human rights abuses in Syria has proven largely elusive. Now the shield of impunity is beginning to crack. Several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and France are in the process of investigating some…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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
China plans to welcome dozens of international leaders on September 3 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Among them is expected to be President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, who should be in The Hague facing justice, not an honored…
Jintao Bashir
News
We know China’s President Xi Jinping loves pork buns and loves his wife, Peng Liyuan – state media has widely distributed images of him queuing to buy buns at a Beijing diner, and allowed the song “Xi Dada Loves Peng Mama” to go viral. So when a Shanghai…
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…