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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
News

All Countries Should Urgently Repatriate Citizens

On the surface, it seems like a happy ending: a 4-year-old Canadian girl is flown home to Canada on Sunday after living the first half of her life under the Islamic State (ISIS) and the second in a squalid detention camp in northeast Syria. But her…
A 4-year-old Canadian girl after her rescue from a detention camp
News

Ottawa Should Repatriate 46 Others Held in Northeast Syria

After months of inaction, the Canadian government announced Monday that it had repatriated a 5-year-old orphan, Amira, who was trapped in a camp for Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members in northeast Syria. Amira’s overdue rescue should not…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
Report
  Summary “Please, bring me back to Canada. … Please, forgive me. Let me be who I am, a Canadian.” —Kimberly Polman, Canadian detained in camp for ISIS family members in Northeast Syria More than one year ago, in March 2019, local…
News

Inadequate Steps to Assist 47 Canadians in Dire Conditions

Canada is failing to take adequate steps to assist and repatriate dozens of Canadians unlawfully detained in dire conditions for alleged Islamic State (also known as ISIS) links in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
News

Syrians Returned to Streets Over Economic Meltdown

(Beirut) – Syrian security forces responded to a protest in the city of Sweida on June 15 by beating and arresting protesters demonstrating against the government’s failure to address the country’s economic meltdown, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
People hold up banners at a protest in Sweida on June 9, 2020
News

Mass Graves Hold Thousands, Investigations Needed

(Beirut) – The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) used a gorge in northeast Syria as a dumping ground for the bodies of people it had abducted or detained, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. A Human Rights Watch investigation and…
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News

Bring Home Other French Children Trapped There

(Toulouse) – Human Rights Watch and nine other organizations issued the following statement on April 21, 2020: We, the undersigned civil society organizations have learned of the alarming situation of young Taymia, a 7-year-old child of…
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Video
The authorities in Syria should address as a priority what happened to people who disappeared in the custody of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) while the group controlled parts of Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
Report
Summary The Islamic State’s (ISIS) expansion in Iraq and Syria featured horrendous public abuses. Largely unseen but equally egregious were the widespread detentions and kidnappings by the group –thousands of people snatched from their…
News

7 Missing, 2 Known Arrested

(Beirut) – At least seven people, including a boy of 16, were reported missing since October 7 from or near Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where they were participating in ongoing protests in Iraq’s capital, Human Rights Watch said today.…
An image that a friend of Mustafa Munthir Ali, who was arrested from a Baghdad protest on November 15, posted to an Instagram account, lostiraqiprotesters2, where people across Iraq are posting information about protesters who have gone missing, asking fo
News

Their Countries of Origin Must Bring Them Home

“They won’t shoot us, my darling. Mummy is right here with you, don’t worry.” The German mother’s words, spoken in almost a whisper, did not stop her young son’s whimpers. Desperate text and voice messages have…
A girl stands in the annex of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria, where more than 11,000 women and children from nearly 50 nationalities are confined as family members of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects. The Kurdish-led coalition controlling north
News

Countries Should Bring Their Citizens Home, Improve Detention Sites

(Beirut) – A Kurdish-led armed group backed by the United States-led coalition against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is detaining thousands of Syrian and foreign men and boys in severely overcrowded informal detention centers in northeast…
Detainees in what The Times of London describes as an informal detention center for Islamic State (ISIS) suspects in northeast Syria.
News

Dozens of Australian Children Held in Camps in Dire Conditions

(Sydney) – The Australian government should bring home Australian children of parents who may have joined armed groups and who are living in deplorable conditions in camps in Syria, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Save the Children…
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News

Overturning Acquittals in Terrorism Cases

(Beirut) – A close study of appeals court decisions in terrorism-related cases in Iraq shows that judges in close to two dozen cases in an 18-month period appeared to ignore torture allegations or to rely on uncorroborated…
Presidency of the Federal Court of Cassation of Baghdad
News

Lift Unlawful Restrictions Blocking Thousands

(Beirut) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is preventing about 4,200 Sunni Arabs from returning home to 12 villages east of Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. More than three years after the Hamdaniya district was retaken…
A destroyed home near Ashqala al-Sagheer village in Hamdaniya, July 2019. Hasansham camp is in the background.  © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Some Forced Back to Home Regions Despite Safety Threats

  (Beirut) – Local authorities have forcibly expelled more than 2,000 Iraqis from camps for displaced people in Nineveh governorate since August 23, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Some were forced to return to their home regions,…
Government buses waiting to move families from one camp in Anbar governate to another during a previous wave of camp closures in December 2018.  © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Affects Thousands Who Lived Under ISIS Rule

(Beirut) The Iraqi government is denying thousands of children whose parents have a perceived Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation of their right to access an education, Human Rights Watch said today. The children, who were…
The school at Hammam al-Alil 1 camp for displaced people south of Mosul that security forces occupied on July 6, 7 and 9 in order to conduct security screenings of camp residents. © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch