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



November 20, 2018 • Press Release

Syria: Thousands of digital activists to track how US-led air strikes destroyed Raqqa

Thousands of digital activists around the world will take part in an innovative new crowdsourcing data project Amnesty International is launching today, which uses satellite imagery to help plot how the US-led military coalition’s bombings destroyed almost 80% of the Syrian city of Raqqa. “Strike Tracker” is the next phase of an in-depth Amnesty International …

November 5, 2018 • Press Release

Arrest warrants for Syrian officials in France an important step towards justice

Responding to the news that French prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for three senior Syrian government and intelligence officials on charges of torture, enforced disappearances, crimes against humanity and war crimes, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research Anna Neistat said: “These arrest warrants for three senior officials, including a top adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, …

October 14, 2018 • Press Release

A year after Raqqa, US-led Coalition’s ongoing denials an insult to survivors

The US-led Coalition’s ongoing failure to admit to, let alone adequately investigate, the shocking scale of civilian deaths and destruction it caused in Raqqa is a slap in the face for survivors trying to rebuild their lives and their city, said Amnesty International a year after the offensive to oust the armed group calling itself …

October 5, 2018 • Press Release

Nobel Peace Prize: Courageous work of Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad highlights need to fight impunity for rape in war

In response to news that Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yezidi human rights activist Nadia Murad have jointly won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said: “Warmest congratulations to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for this recognition of their courageous work standing up for the victims of sexual violence in …

September 14, 2018 • Press Release

Syria: Unlawful attacks using cluster munitions and unguided barrel bombs intensify as Idlib offensive looms

The Syrian government, backed by Russia, has intensified unlawful attacks on civilians in Idlib using internationally banned cluster munitions and unguided barrel bombs in a prelude to a widely anticipated military offensive, Amnesty International said today.

August 21, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty International USA Calls Upon Department of Defense to Investigate Civilian Casualties

The Department of Defense should investigate thoroughly all claims of civilian casualties caused by its Raqqa offensive as well as all US military operations going forward Amnesty International urged in a letter to Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis following the US-led Coalition’s acknowledgement of 77 civilian casualties as a result of military operations in Raqqa. …

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”: …