Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Free Peaceful Activists, Journalists, Aid Workers in Amnesty, Give Independent Monitors Access to Detention Facilities

October 25, 2012 (New York) – President Bashar al-Assad should release all peaceful activists, media professionals, and humanitarian assistance providers as part of an amnesty announced on October 23, 2012, Human Rights Watch, Alkarama, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Index on Censorship, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Reporters Without Borders, and Samir Kassir Foundation – Skeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom said today. These persons have been detained purely for exercising their basic rights such as freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, or for assisting others and therefore should not have been detained or prosecuted in the first place, the groups said.

Europe: Act now to help refugees fleeing Syria

By Charlotte Phillips, researcher on refugee and migrants’ rights at Amnesty International.

On 26 September 2012 at the United Nations General Assembly, David Cameron, the UK’s Prime Minister, accused the United Nations of inaction over the Syria conflict, stating: “The blood of these young children is a terrible stain on the reputation of this United Nations.”

Despite Denials, More Cluster Bomb Attacks, Compelling New Evidence of Use

(New York) – Mounting evidence shows that Syria’s air force is continuing to drop cluster bombs on towns across five governorates despite the Syrian army’s denial that it is using them, Human Rights Watch said today.  Data compiled by Human Rights Watch shows an important increase in the use of cluster bombs in the past two weeks. The cluster bomb strikes are part of an intensifying air campaign by government forces on rebel-held areas that has included dropping high explosive, fragmentation, and even improvised “barrel” bombs into populated areas.

Injured Syrian tortured, life in danger: Osama al-Habaly

URGENT ACTION – INJURED SYRIAN TORTURED, LIFE IN DANGER Mortar shell survivor Osama al-Habaly has been held incommunicado in conditions amounting to enforced disappearance, since his arrest – reportedly by the Syrian Military Intelligence – at the Syrian-Lebanese border on 18 August. Local sources claim he has been tortured or otherwise ill-treated. He has life-threatening injuries. On 18 August, Osama al-Habaly was arrested at a Syrian-Lebanese Border Control Unit near the village of Tell- Kalakh, western Syria. He was on his way home from Lebanon, where he had undergone several operations as a result of critical injuries he sustained after he was hit by a mortar shell on 4 April.

New Evidence Military Dropped Cluster Bombs, Halt All Use of Internationally Banned Weapon

Syria’s disregard for its civilian population is all too evident in its air campaign, which now apparently includes dropping these deadly cluster bombs into populated areas.

Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch.

(New York) – New evidence has emerged that the Syrian air force has used cluster munitions in recent days, Human Rights Watch said today. Many of the strikes were near the main highway that runs through Ma`arat al-Nu`man, the site of a major confrontation between government and rebel forces this week.