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Essential for Durable Peace

(New York) – Justice for Syrian victims and accountability for those who have committed grave abuses should be on the agenda at United Nations-mediated peace talks in Geneva. The Syrian government and major Syrian opposition groups will meet in Geneva on…
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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Repeated Strikes on Douma Kill At Least 112

(New York) – The United Nations Security Council should impose an arms embargo on the Syrian government following the government’s repeated air attacks on Douma’s popular markets and residential areas on August 16, 2015. The attacks killed at least 112…
Syrian emergency personnel gather around dead bodies wrapped in shrouds following air strikes by Syrian government forces on a marketplace in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus, Syria on August 16, 2015.
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In Face of Mounting Pressure, Russia, China Block ICC Referral

(New York) – The Russian and Chinese vetoes on May 22, 2014, of a UN Security Council resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) betray victims of serious crimes there. The resolution has broad international…
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UN Security Council Should Adopt French-Proposed Resolution

(New York) – Fifty-eight countries issued a statement and letter on May 19, 2014, calling on the United Nations Security Council to adopt a French-proposed resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The countries…
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Statement by Civil Society Organizations on Need for Justice

(New York) – Over one hundred civil society groups from around the world issued the following statement today to urge the United Nations Security Council to approve a resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International…
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Russia, China Should Not Veto Referral

(New York) –The United Nations Security Council should urgently pass a new French-proposed resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Human Rights Watch said today. Russia and China should not veto the measure.…
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ICC Important First Step to Address Impunity

(New York) –France’s steps at the UN Security Council toward an ICC referral for Syria give momentum to international efforts to ensure justice there, Human Rights Watch said today. Security Council members and other countries alike should express support…
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ICC, Other Measures Essential to Combat Climate of Impunity

Concerned governments should take steps toward a comprehensive approach to accountability for the serious crimes committed in Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Policymakers and international donors who support credible criminal…
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Planned Attacks on Civilians Constitute Crimes Against Humanity

*Update: In response to Human Rights Watch’s report "You Can Still See Their Blood", the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces sent this letter on October 11. The Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army sent this letter on…
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Security Council Should Ensure Aid, Deter Abuses, Punish Violators

(New York) – United Nations Security Council members should seize the momentum of the Syria chemical weapons resolution to meet humanitarian needs and deter abuses by all sides to the conflict. The Security Council should urgently demand unimpeded…
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New Resolution Should Include ICC Referral

(New York) – The resolution the United Nations Security Council is considering about the August 21, 2013 chemical weapon attacks in Syria should include a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC). An ICC referral of the situation in Syria would…
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Provide Urgent Aid, Halt Flow of Arms to Abusive Forces, Support ICC Referral

(New York) – The discussion about Syria when G20 leaders meet in St. Petersburg on September 5 and 6, 2013, should address the member countries’ abysmal response to the Syrian crisis as a whole over the past two years. While G20 leaders are unlikely to…
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57 States Press for ICC Referral

Update: On January 15, the number of signatories reached 58. (New York) – A letter sent to the United Nations Security Council on behalf of 57 states calling for a referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) gives momentum…
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Additional Action Needed on Kidnapping, Attacks on Civilians

(New York) – The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) sent a clear signal that targeting civilians violates the laws of war. The coalition’s statement on December 19, 2012, condemned attacks on civilians, regardless of their nationality. The coalition should…
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Curb, Condemn, Investigate and Punish Abuses by All Factions

(New York) – Syria’s newly created opposition front should send a clear message to opposition fighters that they must adhere to the laws of war and human rights law, and that violators will be held accountable. Countries financing or supplying arms to…
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Rights Body Stops Short of Urging Syria Referral to International Criminal Court

The United Nations Human Rights Council took bold action to address the chronically poor human rights situations in Belarus and Eritrea, Human Rights Watch said today, at the closing of the council’s 20th session. The council unanimously condemned the “…
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Concrete Measures Needed to Rein in Security Services

(Geneva) – Accountability for serious abuses and human rights monitoring should be central to any transition plan in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today, ahead of an international meeting on Syria in Geneva on June 30, 2012. Priorities should include the…
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Security Forces Also Attacked Women and Girls in Raids on Homes

(New York) – Syrian government forces have used sexual violence to torture men, women, and boys detained during the current conflict. Witnesses and victims also told Human Rights Watch that soldiers and pro-government armed militias have sexually abused…
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Survivors Describe Execution of Family Members

(New York) – Kofi Annan should push Syria’s government to allow the UN-appointed Commission of Inquiry access into the country to investigate the May 25, 2012, killing of at least 108 Houla residents, Human Rights Watch said today ahead of an impending…
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Security Council Sanctions, ICC Referral Needed

(New York) – Syrian security forces summarily executed over 100 – and possibly many more – civilians and wounded or captured opposition fighters during recent attacks on cities and towns, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 25-page…