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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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Bakeries Destroyed; Discriminatory Policies Exacerbate Wheat Shortage

(Beirut) – The Syrian government’s failure to fairly and adequately address a bread crisis brought on by a decade of armed conflict is forcing millions of Syrians to go hungry, Human Rights Watch said today. A deepening economic crisis, coupled…
Syrian authorities distribute food to residents in the town of Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, near Damascus, Syria, April 16, 2018.
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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
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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
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  Some politicians in Lebanon, host to the world’s largest per capita refugee population, are looking for signs that it may be safe for Syrian refugees to go home, even as the violence there continues.  Seven years into the Syria…
Bar Elias, a town in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, has become home to Syrian refugees who were evicted from the Rayak air base, and have settled here in informal encampments.
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Expulsions by Municipalities Appear Discriminatory, Lack Due Process

  (Beirut) – At least 13 municipalities in Lebanon have forcibly evicted at least 3,664 Syrian refugees from their homes and expelled them from the municipalities, apparently because of their nationality or religion, while another 42,000…
A clothesline in an informal tent settlement in Bar Elias, Bekaa Governorate, Lebanon. Refugees evicted from the Rayak air base area settled here in January 2018. The refugees say there was no procedure, no written notice, no opportunity to discuss or cha
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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Armed Clashes Cause Mass Displacement of Minorities

(New York) – Armed opposition groups appeared to have deliberately destroyed religious sites in mixed areas of Northern Syria, in November and December 2012, Human Rights Watch said following investigations in Latakia and Idlib governorates. An armed…