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  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Statement on Syria

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum today expressed deep alarm over the reports of a major chemical weapons attack on civilians in the outskirts of Damascus this week.

    Tags:   syria

  • UN Official Urges Leaders to Refrain from Sectarian Rhetoric Regarding Syrian Conflict

    The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, is urging religious and political leaders in the Middle East and North Africa to refrain from rhetoric that could exacerbate the violence in Syria and incite crimes against civilians.

    Tags:   syria

  • After fleeing the Syrian regime's bombardment of their hometown, an extended family totaling 16 has been living in a cave outside the village of Asseharia, north of Hama.

    World Refugee Day 2013:  Eye on Syria

    Today, June 20, marks World Refugee Day 2013, an annual United Nations-designated opportunity to raise awareness of the plight of those displaced due to war, conflict, or persecution throughout the world.

    Tags:   syria

  • US Confirms Chemical Weapons Used in Syria

    On June 13, the White House issued a statement confirming the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, against the opposition.

    Tags:   responseshumanitarian updatesyria

  • A Syrian government warplane bombed the central mosque in Ma'arat Hirmah on October 16, 2012.

    Is Genocide in Syria’s Future?

    In June 2012, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum expressed grave concern about the escalating violence in Syria and warned that the increasingly sectarian nature of that violence could, if unchecked, lead to genocide.

    Tags:   human rightspreventionresponsessyria

  • Sectarian Tensions Rising in Syria

    As the war between the Assad regime and rebel forces continues, rising sectarian tensions are leading to more actors taking up arms, according to a report released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The periodic updates from the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria paint a troubling picture of self-defense groups arising within Christian, Alawite Muslim, and other minority groups inside the country. The report describes clashes in areas formerly controlled by the government between rebel groups and armed "Popular Committees." These committees are formed by those minority groups—sometimes with direct government support—who are worried that the rebels will not protect their communities may take reprisal steps against them. In addition, it notes that newly forming rebel factions are increasingly resistant to positioning themselves under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army.

    Tags:   humanitarian updatesyria

  • “The World’s Next Genocide”

    In a New York Times op-ed, Simon Adams, executive director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (external link), discusses the potential for genocide to unfold in Syria. Adams warns that as the current conflict intensifies, the risk increases of a violent backlash against Alawites and other minorities. He calls on governments to take decisive action to prevent further crimes against humanity from being committed, and to put an end to impunity for such crimes by engaging the International Criminal Court to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.

    Tags:   justicepreventionresponsessyria

  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Statement on Violence in Syria

    WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum today expressed its grave concern for the safety and security of civilians in Syria, and warned of the potential for genocidal acts if nations do not take prompt actions to uphold their responsibility to protect groups and individuals targeted by the Syrian regime.

    Tags:   human rightshumanitarian updatesyria

  • UN Special Advisers Luck (left) and Deng.

    Statement on Syria by UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisers

    Marking a full year of violent suppression of anti-government protests in Syria, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide, Francis Deng, and on the Responsibility to Protect, Edward Luck, released the following statement on March 15:

    Tags:   human rightspreventionresponsessyria

  • Crimes Against Humanity in Syria

    We know from history that genocide and related crimes against humanity do not just arise spontaneously. They often take place in the context of civil war, when leaders commit such crimes to advance their goals of eliminating opposition or perceived enemies. In the civil conflict now raging in Syria, reporting by independent journalists and the United Nations leaves little doubt that conditions are being laid for a dramatic escalation of violence against civilians, possibly based on their membership in religious sects. Right now the majority Sunni population, perceived by the Alawite-dominated regime to be leading the opposition, are the primary victims, but if conditions deteriorate, other groups—including Druze, Christians, and Alawites themselves—could also be targeted.

    Tags:   human rightshumanitarian updateresponsessyria