Civilians at risk in Syria as Turkish Military offensive looms

Amnesty International
October 9, 2019

Responding to the Turkish government’s statements that its forces are set to cross into northeast Syria “shortly” as part of an offensive to move US-backed Kurdish forces away from its border, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said:

“As the Turkish military gears up to attack Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, it is imperative that all parties to this conflict respect international humanitarian law, including by refraining from carrying out attacks on civilians and civilian objects, as well as indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks.

“As in other parts of Syria, scores of civilians in northeast Syria have already suffered from the impact of successive military offensives, multiple displacements and dire living conditions. Turkey has an obligation under international humanitarian law to take all possible measures to protect civilians and to ensure they have access to humanitarian aid. Civilians wishing to flee the fighting must be given safe passage to do so.

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Algeria: 18-year-old Syrian Refugee Faces Deportation

Amnesty International
Urgent Action UA 269/14
28 October 2014

The Algerian authorities may be preparing to forcibly return an 18-year-old Syrian refugee after he entered the country without official legal documentation.

Moustafa Albakkor, 18, fled Syria in 2012 to escape the crisis that had begun in 2011 and entered Turkey where he was officially recognised as a refugee by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He travelled to Algeria in August 2014.

He was arrested on 18 August and detained in El-Oued Penal Institution, in the north-east of the country. He was tried on 12 October 2014, sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and fined 50,000 Dinars (US$600) for “entering the country with forged travel documents”. His appeal hearing is scheduled for 5 November. His family told Amnesty International they have been prevented from visiting him in prison for over two months.

He is now at risk of being forcibly returned to Syria, where he would face a real risk of human rights violations. Shortly after he was arrested, an official source told Moustafa Albakkor that the Syrian Embassy were in dialogue with the Algerian authorities regarding his deportation.

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Urgent Action – Syrian family at risk

Amnesty International
Urgent Action UA 258/14
14 October 2014

Parents and Six Children At Risk

A Syrian couple, Rania Alabbasi and her husband Abdulrahman Yasin, and their six children, now aged three to 15, have been subjected to enforced disappearance by the Syrian authorities. They were arrested in March 2013.

According to a relative who lives abroad, Military Intelligence officers came to Rania Alabbasi and her husband Abdulrahman Yasin’s house on 9 March 2013 and arrested Abdulrahman Yasin. They are not believed to have given any reason for arresting him. They returned the following day and confiscated items such as money, jewelry, papers and the family’s three cars.

They returned again on 11 March, this time to arrest Rania Alabbasi along with her six children. She has five daughters, Dima (aged 15), Entisar (aged 14), Najah (aged 11), Alaa (aged nine) and Layan (aged three) and one son, Ahmad (aged seven). Rania Alabbasi’s secretary, who was in the house when the security forces arrived, was also arrested.

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Stop Syrian forces from starving people to death

The Syrian conflict has raged for 3 bloody and traumatic years. A quarter of a million civilians live under siege across the country. Many have endured appalling conditions.

The siege in and around Yarmouk camp has been particularly prolonged and harsh. Government forces have all but completely cut off food and medical supplies for months. According to Amnesty International’s research, 128 people have starved to death since the brutal siege of Yarmouk by Syrian government forces began in July 2013.

Medical workers have been harassed and arrested. At least one doctor is believed to have died as a result of being tortured in custody. Schools, hospitals and a mosque – some of which were used as shelters – have been shelled with heavy weapons. Launching indiscriminate attacks on civilians, targeting medical workers assisting the sick and wounded – these are war crimes.

Click here to urge the U.S. government to step up its work with the UN Security Council and advocate for Syrian civilians.

Syria: Harrowing torture, summary killings in secret ISIS detention centres

Amnesty International
19 December 2013

Torture, flogging, and summary killings are rife in secret prisons run by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an armed group that controls large areas of northern Syria, said Amnesty International in a briefing published today.

ISIS, which claims to apply strict Shari’a (Islamic law) in areas it controls, has ruthlessly flouted the rights of local people. In the 18-page briefing, Rule of fear: ISIS abuses in detention in northern Syria, Amnesty International identifies seven detention facilities that ISIS uses in al-Raqqa governorate and Aleppo.

“Those abducted and detained by ISIS include children as young as eight who are held together with adults in the same cruel and inhuman conditions,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

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