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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

Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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The death of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi comes two years after ISIS lost most of its Iraq territory and less than a year after the last major battles against ISIS in Syria. While al-Baghdadi’s death means that his…
Men, suspected of being affiliated with the Islamic State, gather in a prison cell in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakeh on October 26, 2019.
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.
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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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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
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Many Countries Call for Law to Keep Human Control

(Geneva) – Countries meeting in Geneva on November 13-24, 2017, missed a chance to move ahead to prevent the development of weapons systems that would select and engage targets without meaningful human control, Human Rights…
As the debate about “killer robots” continues, the threat they pose looms large.
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Armed conflicts that have given rise to horrific war crimes in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan are all beyond the reach of the ‘court of last resort,’ the International Criminal Court (ICC). But domestic courts in Europe are stepping into the void and…
Former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon
News

Security Forces, Prisoners, Women, Among Those Executed

(Erbil) – The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) executed and dumped the bodies of possibly hundreds of detainees at a site near Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. Multiple witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the bodies of those killed,…
‘Hammam al-Alil mass grave marked and fenced’ Caption: A marked and fenced ISIS mass grave in Hammam al-Alil, 30 kilometers south of Mosul, discovered in November 2016.
News

“Unimaginable Horrors”

The “unimaginable horrors” that the Islamic State (ISIS) is committing against the minority Yezidis, documented in a report released on June 16 by the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Syrian Arab Republic, shows the…
News

Concerns for Safety of Inmates, Hostages

(New York) – Syrian security forces are attempting to storm Hama Central Prison, trying to end a prison protest that began on May 1, 2016. The action raises major concerns about possible excessive use of force. Inmates rioted in parts of the prison…
Still from a video showing protests inside of Hama Central Prison, north of Homs, Syria, that began on May 1, 2016.
News

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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Caesar Photos’ Victims Identified

(Moscow) – Nine months of research reveals some of the human stories behind the more than 28,000 photos of deaths in government custody that were smuggled out of Syria and first came to public attention in January 2014.   The…
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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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July 17, International Justice Day, is a reminder both of how difficult it is to bring the people responsible for the world’s worst crimes to justice and of how crucially important it is not to give up. Over the past two decades, trials for…
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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…