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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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News

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

Promptly Investigate All Attacks, Prosecute Those Responsible

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should urgently and impartially investigate a surge in violent attacks on members of the Ahmadiyya religious community, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists…
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News
The Netherlands announced on Sept. 18 that it had notified Syria of its intention to hold that government accountable for torture under the United Nations Convention against Torture. The Syrian government responded by saying the Netherlands…
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News

Universal Jurisdiction Provides Opening for Justice

  (Berlin) – The start of a landmark trial in Germany of two people alleged to be former Syrian intelligence officials on crimes against humanity charges is an important chance for victims to see justice done, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Illustration © 2017 Brian Stauffer for Human Rights Watch
News

Repeal Law Used Against Religious Minorities, Vulnerable Communities

(New York) – The Pakistan Supreme Court’s decision to quash the conviction of a man who had spent almost 18 years in prison for blasphemy spotlighted abuses inherent in the law, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 25, 2019, the…
Protesters burn a poster of Aasia Bibi after the Supreme Court overturned her conviction under the blasphemy law, Hyderabad, Pakistan, November 1, 2018.
News

India, Pakistan Should Accept Findings, Ensure Justice

(New York) – India and Pakistan should act on the recommendations of the United Nations human rights office to protect basic rights in the contested region of Kashmir, Human Rights Watch said today. The 43-page report by the Office of the UN…
Relatives of disappeared persons participate in a silent protest, demanding an investigation into the disappearances of people in Kashmir.
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…
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News

Human Rights Council Panel commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention

As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, I wish to address the crucial role of the International Criminal Court in realizing its ideals. This year also marks the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the ICC’s…
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News

Repeal Discriminatory Laws Against Religious Community

(New York) – The Pakistani government should immediately act to allow the full and equal participation of members of the Ahmadiyya religious community in the general elections scheduled for July 25, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Women walk out of a community center of the Ahmadiyya community in Rabwah, Pakistan, October 19, 2017.
News

Militant Killings of Besieged Shia Muslims Escalate

Unidentified assailants killed shopkeepers Jaffar and Muhammad Ali on Saturday in Quetta, Pakistan, apparently because they belonged to the Hazara community. This was the fourth attack this April on the Hazara, a Shia Muslim…
Shi'ite Muslim men from Pakistan's ethnic Hazara minority mourn around the coffins of their relatives, who were killed in a shooting attack, in Quetta, Pakistan October 9, 2017.
News

Investigative Team Briefs UN General Assembly

Update: The International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism concluded a cooperation agreement with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria in March 2018. (New York) – UN member states should fully fund and cooperate with a…
Catherine Marchi-Uhel, head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), attends a news conference on Syria crimes at the United Nations in Geneva, September 5, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
News

Establish Investigative Body on Chemical Weapons Attacks

*This news release has been updated to reflect two additional signatories, bringing the final number to 47. (New York) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres should urgently appoint a team of investigators to identify those…
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during the United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria at the U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S, April 13.
News

Foreign ISIS Detainees Raise Due Process, Victim Participation Issues

(Beirut) – The capture of two British men suspected of involvement in the Islamic State’s (also known as ISIS) torture and execution of Western hostages highlights the need to provide trials for ISIS suspects that respect due process…
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces removes an Islamic State flag in the town of Tabqa, west of Raqqa city, Syria, April 30, 2017. © 2017 Getty Images
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
Report
Summary These cases are important. We need to know that these trials are happening because these are the crimes we are fleeing. —Hassan, Syrian refugee in Germany, February 2017 Over the last six years the Syrian crisis has claimed the lives of an…
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Efforts to bring those responsible for atrocities in Syria before European courts are starting to bear fruit, notably in Swedish and German courts, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While various authorities in Europe have opened…
News

Swedish and German Authorities Pursuing Cases for War Crimes in Syria

What kind of cases have been brought to trial so far? To date, seven cases for war crimes in Syria were brought to trial, three in Sweden and four in Germany. These few cases have mostly been against members of the Islamic State [ISIS], Jabhat…
Illustration © 2017 Brian Stauffer for Human Rights Watch