‘Like a horror movie’: major COVID-19 outbreak in Damascus and failed response

Growing stories of overwhelmed hospitals, afflicted family members, and increasing deaths are presenting disturbing evidence of a COVID-19 outbreak spiraling out of control in government-held areas. A major response is urgently needed to save potentially thousands of lives—yet instead, the Syrian government has chosen to hide the crisis rather than confront it with serious measures. […]

Inside the Raslan Trial: The First Insider Witness Testifies

TRIAL OF ANWAR RASLAN and EYAD AL GHARIB Higher Regional Court – Koblenz, Germany Trial Monitoring Report 5 Hearing dates of June 24 & 25, 2020 Full PDF of the report can be found here. [Information located in brackets are notes from our court monitor]. (Information located in parenthesis is information stated by the witness, […]

Bashar al-Assad is Criminally Responsible for Syria’s COVID-19 Crisis

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Syrian government was playing a dangerous game. It initially refused to acknowledge that there were any cases of the disease in Syria, creating an environment of misinformation and fear that was useful in its fight against dissidents. In March, the government finally started to acknowledge that there were a […]

Witness or Suspect? The Trial of Anwar Raslan and Eyad Al Gharib

As the trial of Anwar Raslan and Eyad Al-Gharib enters its fifth month, a recurring issue surrounds the initial police questioning of the Accused. Should Raslan and Al-Gharib’s statements to police be accepted as evidence of guilt? The answer will depend on the status of Raslan and Al-Gharib at the time of questioning: were they […]

One Year After Banning the Practice, the SDF is Still Recruiting Children

Child recruitment into combat has been present since the beginning of the conflict in Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), including its dominant faction, the YPG, has been plagued by many accusations of child recruitment in recent years. The SDF has continually promised to end the practice, signing increasingly stringent agreements, culminating in an Action […]

Two Decades of Violations and The Increased Need for Justice

Twenty years ago, on July 16th, 2000, Bashar al-Assad was approved as president of Syria following a July 10, 2000 referendum that allowed the Syrian people to vote on the presidential nominee. Being the only candidate, he was elected with 97% approval. His election came approximately one month following the death of his father, Hafez […]

A Historic Apology: The YPG Acknowledges Wrongdoing in Amouda

On June 27 and 28, 2013, The People’s Protection Units (YPG) forces killed six civilians associated with protests against the arbitrary detention of Yekiti Party members in the Northeast town of Amouda. The killings in Amouda have long been public knowledge; Human Rights Watch and the US State Department have both written about the crimes. […]

Inside the Raslan Trial: Victims Testify

  TRIAL OF ANWAR RASLAN and EYAD AL GHARIB Higher Regional Court – Koblenz, Germany Trial Monitoring Report 4 Hearing dates of June 3, 4, & 5, 2020 Full PDF of the report can be found here, available in English and Arabic.   Note: Some testimony includes descriptions of torture. [Information located in brackets are […]

“They made me do it” – Necessity and Duress Defenses

A big moment in the trial of Anwar Raslan and Eyad Al Gharib came on May 18 when Anwar Raslan’s defense counsel presented Raslan’s statement to the court. Syrian victims in the court were curious to understand how those accused of such serious crimes would respond to the charges. One said, “I thought I would […]

Inside the Raslan Trial: Details on Branch 251

TRIAL OF ANWAR RASLAN and EYAD AL GHARIB Higher Regional Court – Koblenz, Germany Trial Monitoring Report 3 Hearing dates of May 27, 28 & 29, 2020   Summary / Highlights Trial Day 7 Three witnesses—a police inspector, translator and police high commissioner—testified about their questioning of Eyad Al-Gharib. The police inspector testified that Accused […]