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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

Address Jailed Russian Activists, Attacks on Syrian Civilians

(Berlin) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel should raise critical human rights issues when she meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Meseberg, Germany, on August 18, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. The chancellor’s spokesperson has…
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017
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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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.
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

European Court Upholds Ban on Face Coverings

The European Court of Human Rights has struck another blow to women’s autonomy, ruling in favor of bans on full-face veils enacted in 2011 in Belgium. Echoing a 2014 ruling in S.A.S v. France, the court cited the vague idea…
Salma, a 22-year-old French national living in Belgium who chooses to wear the niqab after converting to Islam, gives an interview to Reuters television outside the Belgian Parliament in Brussels in this April 26, 2010 file photo.
News
News of Russia has dominated the Washington press for weeks. Whether, when, and to what extent President Trump and his advisors had contacts with Russian officials prior to his electoral win has provided endless fodder for pundits and politicians alike,…
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington D.C., January 28, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
News
With only three months gone, populism looks like a shoo-in for word of year. Headlines warn that populism is a threat to Europe, perhaps even an existential one. Populist radical right parties have the wind in their sails, the argument goes, boosted by…
Germany's Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Frauke Petry, France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen, Italian Matteo Salvini of the Northern League, Netherlands' Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders, Harald Vilimsky of Austria's Freedom Party
News

‘She Decides’ Summit to Counter Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’

(Brussels) – Governments should pledge political and financial support for sexual and reproductive health to counter the United States’ “Global Gag Rule,” Human Rights Watch said today. The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden are hosting a summit in…
Women and girls wait with their children outside a doctor’s office in Chitwan, Nepal.
News

Annual Day Promotes Accountability for Attacks on the Media

For reporters at risk around the world – because they’re exposing corruption, covering conflict, or afflicting the comfortable – today matters: it’s the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. You’d think a group of professional…
Somali photojournalist runs for cover while reporting on fighting between the Somali government and African Union forces against the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, April 2012.
News
In his first report to the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday,  the UN special rapporteur for the right to privacy,  Joseph Cannataci, laid out an ambitious agenda for addressing the growing concern about protection of privacy in the trans-border…
News

Abducted with Three Colleagues in 2013

(New York) – Human Rights Watch today joined eight other organizations in seeking the Canadian government’s support for the release of the Syrian human rights lawyer Razan Zaitouneh, her husband, and two more of their colleagues. Her family in Canada has…
News

Release Bassel Khartabil, Held Unfairly Since 2012

(Beirut) – Syria’s authorities should immediately reveal the whereabouts of Bassel Khartabil, a software developer and defender of freedom of expression, 31 organizations said today. Syrian authorities transferred Khartabil, who has been detained since…
2013_Syria_profile_Bassel-Khartabil
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Drop Charges Against Him, Release Other Peaceful Activists

Fourteen international organisations have joined the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) in welcoming the release of its president Mazen Darwish and in calling for all charges against him and his colleagues to be dropped, as well as…
News
We, the undersigned organisations, call upon the 41 Governments that compose the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, to take action and address the alarming proliferation of surveillance…
News

Armed Groups Should Unconditionally Release Journalists

(New York) – The apparent execution of the freelance journalist James Foley on August 19, 2014 in Syria by the Islamic State would be a war crime if confirmed. Groups detaining journalists should immediately and unconditionally release them. The Islamic…
News

New Detentions Despite Security Council Demands

(New York) – The Syrian government, pro-government militias, and non-state armed groups should immediately release everyone they have arbitrarily arrested, abducted, and detained in the last three years for their peaceful, journalistic, and humanitarian…
News
This isn’t the first time that Syria has separated my friend Monica’s family at Christmas. In 2011, she spent the holidays reporting from the besieged city of Homs, while her husband, Javier, stayed home in Beirut with their two children. But this year it…
News
In less than half a year, the city of Sochi will host the Olympic Winter Games 2014. The eyes of the world are increasingly focused on Russia and its deteriorating human rights situation. This gives those in position of influence with the Olympic movement…
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Sectarianism in the Muslim world is dividing people who have lived together for centuries.

The last month hasn't been a good one for religious tolerance. As Egypt teetered on the edge of chaos following the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, unknown assailants killed a Coptic Christian priest in Sinai and Muslim extremists…
News
As rioting resumes in Egypt, militias reign ominously in parts of Libya, and relentless slaughter proceeds in Syria, some are beginning to question whether the Arab Spring was such a good idea after all. But would we really want to condemn entire nations…