Syria


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Three years after pro-democracy protests arose in spring 2011, Syria remains in a state of human rights and humanitarian crisis. The United Nations lists more than 9 million Syrians as refugees and internally displaced peoples, making it the largest current refugee crisis in the world. Tens of thousands of civilians across Syria, including children, have been forced to endure a life of hardship under siege. Most of the sieges are imposed and maintained by forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Others have been mounted by opposition and other non-state armed groups.

Civilians continue to be at the receiving end of frequent indiscriminate attacks by Syrian government forces. Government forces also continue to commit other grave violations, including war crimes such as arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearance and extrajudicial execution. Amnesty's documentation provides fresh evidence that such crimes are widespread as well as systematic, and are being perpetrated on an ever-increasing scale and as part of state policy. We also have evidence of the government targeting special groups such as medical workers and journalists. Many Syrians are victims of enforced disappearances.

Amnesty International also has documented abuses by armed opposition groups, including the assault by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) on minority groups. In the areas they control, ISIS forces have committed numerous serious rights abuses, including some that amount to war crimes: They include abductions, arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment and unlawful killings.

Syria Newsroom



August 1, 2018 • Press Release

Syria: Turkey must stop serious violations by allied groups and its own forces in Afrin

Turkish forces are giving Syrian armed groups free rein to commit serious human rights abuses against civilians in the northern city of Afrin, Amnesty International said today, following an in-depth investigation into life under the Turkish military occupation. Research released today reveals that residents in Afrin are enduring a wide range of violations, mostly at …

July 26, 2018 • Press Release

US Coalition Efforts to Ensure Accountability for Civilian Deaths are a Welcome First Step, But More Clarity Necessary

The US-led coalition has today issued a press release accepting responsibility for all civilian deaths documented in Amnesty International’s June 5th report into the aerial bombardment of Raqqa. Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser, said: “After weeks of obfuscation and denials, the US-led coalition has finally admitted responsibility for the deaths of approximately …

July 17, 2018 • Press Release

Syria: Putin takes hypocrisy to a new level with remarks on Raqqa civilian deaths

In an interview with Fox News following the Helsinki Summit on 16 July, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized the high civilian death toll from the US-led Coalition’s aerial bombardment of Raqqa, Syria. Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf responded: “The US-led Coalition should absolutely face heightened scrutiny for its conduct in last year’s four-month Raqqa offensive. Our field …

July 16, 2018 • Press Release

Syria: US-led Coalition ‘deeply in denial’ about civilian casualties in Raqqa

The US-led Coalition’s flurry of responses rejecting the findings of a recent Amnesty International report on the devastation wrought by their aerial bombardment of Raqqa last year demonstrates how deeply in denial they are about the large number of civilians killed and injured by Coalition strikes, the organization said today. Since the publication of “War of annihilation”: …

June 8, 2018 • Press Release

Syria: Scores of civilian casualties in suspected Russian air strike on Idlib

Responding to reports that Russian aircraft carried out an attack in Idlib province last night, killing at least 44 people, Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International, said: “This outrageous attack, the deadliest in Idlib so far this year, targeted the village of Zardana overnight while people were breaking the Ramadan fast. Among those …

June 4, 2018 • Report

Syria: Raqqa in ruins and civilians devastated after US-led ‘war of annihilation’

From amid the rubble of Raqqa, civilians are asking why US-led Coalition forces destroyed the city, killing hundreds of civilians in the process of “liberating” them from the armed group calling itself “Islamic State” (IS), Amnesty International said in a new report ahead of the offensive’s anniversary. Amnesty International researchers visited 42 Coalition air strike …

June 1, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty International Calls on US to Investigate All Claims of Civilian Casualties

Responding to the Pentagon’s report on US civilian casualties to Congress, Daphne Eviatar, Director of Security with Human Rights at Amnesty International USA stated: “The Defense Department has deemed that the vast majority of claims of civilian casualties are not credible without ever investigating them. Its numbers therefore likely severely undercount the actual civilian death …

April 19, 2018 • Press Release

US Citizen Detained in Iraq Must Have Fair Trial, Not Be Sent to Third Country

Rather than be sent to a third country where he may face torture, a U.S. citizen held in for seven months in Iraq as a suspected fighter for the Islamic State must be either formally charged and given a fair trial in U.S. courts, or released if no charges are forthcoming, said Amnesty International today …

April 18, 2018 • Report

Trump threat puts European role in lethal US drone strikes under new scrutiny

As the Trump administration prepares to further expand the US’s lethal drone program, increasing the risk of civilian casualties and unlawful killings, Amnesty International is calling on four European countries to urgently overhaul the crucial operational and intelligence assistance they provide to the program. Amnesty International and others have documented cases, under successive US administrations, where …

April 17, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty International Opposes New Open-Ended War Authority for President Trump

In response to Senator Corker’s proposed authorization for use of military force (AUMF) intended to replace the 2001 and 2002 authorizations, Daphne Eviatar, director of Security with Human Rights for Amnesty International USA, made the following statement: “Since 2001, the U.S. has been operating as if the world is a permanent battlefield, at the costs …