Why the US Should Expand Sanctions in Northern Syria

  The recent imposition of U.S. sanctions on the Turkish-backed armed group Ahrar al-Sharqiya represents a step forward in protecting human rights in northern Syria. Reactions to the sanctions by affiliates of Ahrar al-Sharqiya and its allies show that the designation may be a powerful tool to change behavior, and the U.S. should extend sanctions […]

Inside the Raslan Trial: The one who is arrested is lost; The one who is released is newborn

TRIAL OF ANWAR RASLAN Higher Regional Court – Koblenz, Germany Trial Monitoring Report 41 Hearing Dates: July 14 &15, 2021 A full PDF of this report is available, here. All reports and witness lists are available, here.   CAUTION: Some testimony includes descriptions of torture.   Summaries/Highlights:[1] Trial Day 82 – July 14, 2021 P40, a 28-year-old […]

Spike in “Honor Killings” Fuels Protests for Accountability in Northeast Syria

  Two recent honor killings in Syria’s northeast have ignited public outrage and started a debate about how these murders should be prosecuted in the community. It is nearly impossible to determine the full scope of honor killings that take place every year in Syria. According to Human Rights Watch, over 200 women were murdered […]

Inside the Raslan Trial: The People Were Monsters but the Cockroaches Were Kind

TRIAL OF ANWAR RASLAN and EYAD AL-GHARIB Higher Regional Court – Koblenz, Germany Trial Monitoring Report 40 Hearing Date: July 07, 2021 A full PDF of this report is available, here. All reports and witness lists are available, here. CAUTION: Some testimony includes descriptions of torture.   Summaries/Highlights:[1] Day 81 – July 07, 2021 P39, a plaintiff […]

Inside the Raslan Trial: Trauma, justice, and politics

   TRIAL OF ANWAR RASLAN Higher Regional Court – Koblenz, Germany Trial Monitoring Report 39 Hearing Dates: June 30 & July 1, 2021 A full PDF of this report is available, here. All reports and witness lists are available, here.   CAUTION: Some testimony includes descriptions of torture.   Summaries/Highlights:[1] Trial Day 79 – June 30, 2021 […]

Lebanon’s Economic Turmoil: Syrians face Unique Vulnerabilities

  One year after the Beirut blast that killed over 200 people, including Syrian refugees, Lebanon lacks a functioning federal government, faces steep inflation, and according to its, now former, Prime Minister is “days away from social explosion.” Lebanon, with a population of 6 million people, is home to the world’s largest number of refugees […]

Does Syria Need a UN Missing Persons Mechanism?

  In February of this year, a coalition of Syrian organizations led by survivors and families of the missing in Syria released the new Truth and Justice Charter, laying out their vision for a just peace. The first demand in the document is “the immediate release of detainees, and revealing the fate of the forcibly […]

UPDATE: German Prosecutor indicted Syrian Doctor for Crimes Against Humanity

  Caution: This blog post includes descriptions of torture. After one year of pre-trial detention, the German Federal Prosecutor General filed the public indictment against Alaa M. at the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt on July 15, 2021 [GER only]. Once the court confirms the opening of the main trial within a few weeks’ time, […]

The “Post-War” Tour: How Tourism is Empowering the Syrian Government

  The Syrian government’s latest national budget paints a grim picture of the country’s finances. With mounting war debt and a 400% decrease in GDP, the government is facing a dire food crisis and may be unable to pay military wages by 2022. Bashar Al-Assad’s government is desperate to open new revenue streams that can […]