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07 Apr 2011 description

Syria, with a population of approximately 21 million, is a republic under the authoritarian regime of President Bashar al-Asad. The president makes key decisions with counsel from a small circle of security advisors, ministers, and senior members of the ruling Ba'ath (Arab Socialist Renaissance) Party. The constitution mandates the primacy of Ba'ath Party leaders in state institutions and society. President Asad and party leaders dominate all three branches of government.

06 Apr 2011 description

New partnership established to address threats to forests

Rome/Avignon, 6 April 2011 - A new partnership for Mediterranean forests has been established to address major threats to the region's forests being exacerbated by the severe impact of climate change. The partnership was announced at the Second Mediterranean Forest Week, which is taking place in Avignon, France (5-8 April).

04 Apr 2011 description
report Human Rights Watch

At Least 8 Killed in Douma

(New York, April 5, 2011) – President Bashar al-Asad should immediately order Syrian security forces to stop using unjustified lethal force against anti-government protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should investigate each shooting, and hold accountable anyone responsiblefor the unlawful use of force, Human Rights Watch said.

02 Apr 2011 description
report UN News Service

2 April 2011 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced deep concern over the situation in Syria, where more civilian deaths have been reported during the latest popular demonstrations, and called for an immediate end to the use of force against peaceful demonstrators.


01 Apr 2011 description

In Côte d'Ivoire, the security and humanitarian situation deteriorated as civil war reignited.

31 Mar 2011 description

Foreword by Foreign Secretary William Hague

I am delighted to introduce the 2010 Human Rights Command Paper. Our coalition government is determined to strengthen the human rights work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as part of our commitment to a foreign policy that has the practical promotion of human rights as part of its irreducible core.

30 Mar 2011 description
report Human Rights Watch

Government Should Abolish Emergency Law, Amend Repressive Laws, Abolish Special Courts

(New York, March 30, 2011) - President Bashar al-Asad's speech on March 30, 2011, failed to commit to a specific reform agenda that would safeguard public freedoms and judicial independence and prohibit the Syrian government from encroaching on human rights, Human Rights Watch said today.

29 Mar 2011 description

Interviewee: Joshua Landis, Director, Center for Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma

Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, CFR.org

March 29, 2011

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is scheduled to speak this week in response to recent protests and perhaps lift Syria's emergency laws, and the Syrian cabinet resigned (al-Jazeera), creating questions about whether Assad's government could meet the same fate as those in Tunisia and Egypt.

28 Mar 2011 description

On the Issues by Scott Lasensky

March 28, 2011

Scott Lasensky is the author of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace" (USIP Press) and Dealing with Damascus (Council on Foreign Relations). He travels regularly to Syria.

* What is happening in Syria right now?

* How does it affect nearby hotspots like Israel, Lebanon and Iraq?

* What should we be looking out for from Syria in the next few days or weeks?

What is happening in Syria right now?

For more than a week public protests have grown in intensity and spread throughout the country.

28 Mar 2011 description


=B7 As of January 31, more than 1,300 households, representing approximately 7,800 individuals, had sought refuge in Dahuk, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Ninawa governorates as a result of sectarian violence and fears of persecution following the October 2010 attack on the Saidat Al-Najat Church in Baghdad, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

28 Mar 2011 description
report Human Rights Watch

Death Toll at Least 61 in Daraa Region, 12 in Latakia

(London, March 28, 2011) - Syria's security forces used live ammunition against protesters in Daraa and the surrounding villages of Sanmein and Tafas on March 25 and 26, 2011, killing at least 26 and bringing the death toll in the Daraa governorate reported by Syrian human rights activists since March 18 to at least 61, Human Rights Watch said today.

27 Mar 2011 description

Period covered by this Final Report: 26

August 2009 to 31 December 2010

Appeal target (current): CHF 3,255,615

Appeal coverage: 49%;

Appeal history:

h This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 26 August 2009 for CHF 3,255,615 for 12 months to assist 260,000 beneficiaries.

h Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF320,856 was initially allocated from the International Federation's DREF to support the National Society to respond.

26 Mar 2011 description

GENEVA (26 March 2011) - The UN human rights chief on Saturday called on Syria "to draw lessons from recent events across the Middle East and North Africa which clearly demonstrate that violent repression of peaceful protest not only does not resolve the grievances of people taking to the streets, it risks creating a downward spiral of anger, violence, killings and chaos."

"Since the beginning of this year, we have witnessed many instances where the authorities in various countries have used force against mass protests.

25 Mar 2011 description

At least 55 people are believed to have been killed during a week of unrest in and around the Syrian town of Dera'a, Amnesty International said today as protests spread across the country.

Security forces again opened fire on protesters in al-Sanamayn and carried out arrests in Damascus, according to reports on Friday, a day after the authorities pledged to investigate the violence.

"The excessive force apparently again being used by security forces is the latest example of the Syrian authorities' appalling and brutal response to recent dissent, and make their pledge to …

25 Mar 2011 description

Damascus/Brussels, 25 March 2011: Syria is at what is rapidly becoming a defining moment for its leadership. There are only two options. One involves an immediate and inevitably risky political initiative that might convince the Syrian people that the regime is willing to undertake dramatic change. The other entails escalating repression, which has every chance of leading to a bloody and ignominious end.

Already, the unfolding confrontation in the southern city of Deraa gives no sign of quieting, despite some regime concessions, forceful security measures and mounting casualties.

25 Mar 2011 description
report Human Rights Watch

Many Activists and Protesters Arrested

(London, March 25, 2011) - Syria's security forces should immediately stop using live ammunition against protesters in the southern town of Daraa, where the death toll has risen considerably in the last 48 hours, Human Rights Watch said today.

24 Mar 2011 description
report European Union

The European Council discussed the situation in Libya and endorsed the conclusions adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council on 21 March. Recalling its March 11 Declaration, the European Council expressed its satisfaction after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which expresses the principle of the responsibility to protect, and underlined its determination to contribute to its implementation.

24 Mar 2011 description

The Syrian government must ensure its security forces end attacks on protesters and others during ongoing unrest, Amnesty International said today amid reports of mass casualties in the town of Dera'a.

"We are deeply disturbed by reports of multiple deaths in Dera'a, with security forces firing at protesters and people coming to the aid of the injured with apparent disregard for human life," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

"The Syrian authorities' response to dissent has been swift and …