On 20 March 2022, the Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labor of the United States Department of State released the annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which includes Syria. The State Department’s 2022 report on Syria reflects on violations of international law committed by all parties to the conflict. The report is based on international and local sources, including Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ).
The report states that the Syrian government forces (regime forces) committed multiple patterns of violations of international human rights law (IHRL), most notably, unlawful or arbitrary killings, arbitrary detention, and torture.
The report touches upon, the regime and pro-regime forces’ continued aerial and ground offensives in Idlib province and other areas in the northwestern region of the country. These offensives, according to the report, killed hundreds of civilians, displaced thousands of others, devastated the civilian infrastructure in the affected areas, and exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation.
On another hand, the report points out the armed Syrian opposition groups’ violations, citing an STJ’s reports on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters’ detentions of civilians, including journalists and human rights activists, and on the implicit and coercive demographic engineering efforts across the country, specifically in Afrin. In the same regard, the report mentions the abuses committed by Syrian armed groups supported by Türkiye in the northern region of the country, including, the unlawful detention of civilians, and the looting and seizure of private property, especially those belonging to Kurds.
Furthermore, the State Department’s report refers to the violations against women, quoting a report STJ submitted to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls in June. STJ’s report documented instances of violations against women and children perpetrated by the al-Hamza/al-Hamzat Division of the Syrian National Army (SNA).
On a related note, the report talks about domestic violence mentioning STJ’s report which documented cases of more than 20 victims who were killed as a result of domestic violence in Syria from 2019 to the time of reporting, in addition to more than 560 other domestic violence incidents that included beatings and physical abuse during the same time period.
In conclusion, STJ would like to stress the importance of recording and documenting human rights violations by all parties to the Syrian conflict in order to ensure accountability and remedies for victims of human rights abuses across the country.