Being a human rights lawyer in Syria has never been easy. We have always been vulnerable to prosecution or at risk of arrest by the authorities. Over the past few years, however, the situation has become increasingly unbearable.
The armed conflict raging in Syria continues to have a catastrophic effect for millions of the country’s citizens. At least 2.6 million have fled the country as refugees, severely impacting Syria’s neighbouring states, and at least 6.5 million others are internally displaced inside Syria. Three and a half million people living in hard-to-reach areas are among 9.3 million in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in areas that have been under siege.
A Syrian woman, Yara Faris, was arrested by Syrian State Security officers on 8 December 2013. She is held in ‘Adra Prison, waiting to be tried by the Anti-Terrorism Court for allegedly assisting in the distribution of food and aid to displaced people.
ew satellite imagery, videos and eyewitness accounts reveal the indiscriminate nature of the government’s large-scale air campaign on opposition-held parts of Aleppo since November 2013. The attacks on populated areas in Aleppo and its countryside continue despite a UN Security Council resolution on February 22, 2014, demanding all parties cease “indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, including shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs.”
Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteer Maryam Haid was arrested on 13 January in Damascus. She was later shown “confessing” on a programme on a pro-government TV channel. She has been held in conditions amounting to enforced disappearance and her life may be in danger.
Syrian pro-reform activist Amal Jamil Nasr was arrested on 2 March by men believed to be Military Intelligence agents. She has been detained incommunicado since then and is in danger of torture and other ill-treatment.
A new report by Amnesty International reveals that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been carried out on Palestinian and Syrian civilians in Yarmouk, on the outskirts of Damascus, which is under brutal siege by Syrian government forces.
Syrian man Mahmoud Saber Sabra was arrested on 19 February by men in civilian clothing believed to be members of the Syrian security forces. He has been detained incommunicado since then and is in real danger of torture and other ill-treatment.
Siveen Juma Kindi, a Kurdish postal worker in Syria, was subjected to enforced disappearance in the northern city of Qamishly, on 13 March 2012. He has not been heard from since then.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimous vote to adopt a resolution addressing humanitarian aid and human rights abuses in Syria is a significant step towards alleviating the suffering in Syria, said Amnesty International.