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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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Over 60 Detained, Forcibly Moved from Occupied Territories

(Beirut) – Turkey and the Syrian National Army have arrested and illegally transferred at least 63 Syrian nationals from northeast Syria to Turkey to face trial on serious charges that could lead to life in prison, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Fighters of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (also called the Syrian National Army) enter the town of Tal Abyad.
News

Lack of Access, Damaged Infrastructure, Bias Pose Rollout Risk

(Beirut) – International aid groups should have support to secure the widest and most equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines possible across Syria, including all areas controlled by different groups, Human Rights Watch said today. Although the…
A medic checks the temperature of a man inside a health isolation centre which has been established on the Syrian-Turkish borders in order to place people coming from Turkey to Idlib as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19.
News

Upsurge in Attacks on Activists, Community Leaders, Rights Defenders

(Manila, January 13, 2021) – The Philippine government’s “drug war” killings intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, as did unnecessary arrests during lockdowns, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. Attacks by the police,…
Detainees sleep in an open basketball court inside the Quezon City Jail in Quezon City, Philippines on July 24, 2020. 
News

‘Drug War’ Deaths Rise Dramatically as Country Reels from Covid-19

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s bloody “war on drugs” worsened during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to the government’s own statistics. Police killed 50 percent more people between April to July 2020 than they did in the…
Police officers secure the road leading to the House of Representatives where President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 27, 2020 in Metro Manila, Philippines.
News

Protective Equipment Shortages, Reporting Lapses Risking Lives

(Beirut) – Syrian authorities are failing to protect health workers at the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic in government-held territory, Human Rights Watch said today. Doctors, aid workers, and civilians, including in government-held Syria,…
A health worker with a face mask walks inside a hospital, as hospitals enforce a series of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Damascus, Syria March 19, 2020.
News

Reinstating Capital Punishment Risks International Condemnation, Sanctions

The plummeting human rights situation in the Philippines got even worse this week as the government began considering bills to reinstate the death penalty. The move by the House Committee on Justice came a week after President Rodrigo Duterte used his…
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a late night live broadcast in Malacanang, Manila, Philippines, April 3, 2020.
News

Police to Go House-to-House, Rely on Neighbor Reporting

The Philippine government announced this week that police will conduct house-to-house searches for people who might have been infected with the novel coronavirus and then forcibly relocate them to government-run isolation facilities. The authorities…
A police officer checks the temperatures of passengers inside a jeepney at a checkpoint in Manila, Philippines, March 16, 2020. 
News

Russia Should Support Medical Aid via Syria-Iraq Border to Prevent Covid-19 Spread

The UN Security Council – including Russia – needs to act quickly to reauthorize medical aid deliveries from Iraq to Syria’s northeast to prevent further spread of Covid-19 that could devastate the region.    The council needs to move…
A medic checks the temperature of a man inside a health isolation centre which has been established on the Syrian-Turkish borders in order to place people coming from Turkey to Idlib as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19.
News

More Aid is Essential to Fight Covid-19 in War-Torn Areas

To help prevent a catastrophic outbreak of Covid-19 in Syria, the World Health Organization (WHO) should stand firm in urging the United Nations Security Council to ensure medical and other humanitarian aid can be delivered to Syria over an Iraq…
Medical workers oversee the disinfection of streets to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Qamishli, Syria, March 24, 2020.
News

Reduce Prisoner Populations to Address Severe Health Concerns

(Manila) – The Philippine government has not fully reported prison deaths, raising concerns that Covid-19 is spreading more quickly and widely in the country’s detention facilities, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should investigate…
Inmates sitting in an overcrowded jail in Manila, Philippines, February 2019.
News

Persistently Press Abusive Leaders to End Violations

Authoritarian-leaning countries in southeast Asia are using the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to further repress human rights, which the Australian government cannot afford to ignore. In Cambodia, a new state of emergency law will further…
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen gestures during a speech on the current state of a new virus from China in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.
News

UN Should Reauthorize Assistance from Iraq; Damascus Should Allow Passage

(Beirut) – Restrictions on aid deliveries from Damascus and Iraq are preventing medical supplies and personnel needed to prevent, contain, and treat Covid-19 from reaching two million people in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. On…
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Civilians Need to be Protected as Coronavirus Cases Spread in Syria

After almost a decade of conflict, and with new cases of Covid-19 recorded across the country, at least four million people, a quarter of whom are displaced in camps, await the next disaster in northwest Syria. While much of the world was…
A surgical operation room is damaged after an airstrike hit a hospital in the town of Ariha, in Idlib province, Syria, January 30, 2020.
News

Release Low-Level Offenders; Prioritize Older and Ill Prisoners

(Manila) – Philippine authorities, to stem the COVID-19 outbreak, should release from the country’s overcrowded jails and prisons inmates who have been detained or convicted for low-level and non-violent offenses, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Inmates in the North Cotabato District Jail in Kidapawan City, Philippines, January 2017.  (c) 2017 AP Photo
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Misuse of COVID-19 Law as Dozens Face Probes, Backlash

The Philippine government is cracking down on journalists and social media users critical of the government’s COVID-19 response, threatening media freedom and the rights to free expression and access to information.    On March 24,…
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a late night live broadcast in Malacanang, Manila, Philippines, April 3, 2020.
News

Young People Locked in Dog Cages, Coffins, Stripped Naked

Philippine authorities have subjected children to absurdly abusive treatment for violating curfew and quarantines rules imposed to limit exposure to COVID-19. Police and local officials in several parts of the country have mistreated…
A screenshot of an officer with five youths locked inside a dog cage after breaking curfew in Laguna province, the Philippines on March 20, 2020. © 2020 Facebook
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COVID-19 Protections Rely on Adequate Supply

(Beirut) – Turkish authorities’ failure to ensure adequate water supplies to Kurdish-held areas in Northeast Syria is compromising humanitarian agencies’ ability to prepare and protect vulnerable communities in the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights…
A displaced Syrian girl fills water from a cistern at a camp for Syrian displaced people near the Syrian-Turkish border in the Northern countryside of Idlib.
News

COVID-19 Response Should Respect Detainee Rights

(Manila) – Philippine authorities should respect the basic rights of people detained for violating the government’s COVID-19 regulations, Human Rights Watch said today. Police and local officials have confined those arrested to dog cages and forced…
A screenshot of an officer with five youths locked inside a dog cage after breaking curfew in Laguna province, the Philippines on March 20, 2020. © 2020 Facebook