Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Women and ethnic minorities 

Women and ethnic minorities have faced discrimination in the public sector.[92] Thousands of Syrian Kurds were denied citizenship in 1962, and their descendants continued to be labeled as "foreigners" until 2011, when 120,000 out of roughly 200,000 stateless Kurds were granted citizenship on 6 April by a decree of president Bashar al-Assad. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CDS Battery Several riots prompted increased tension in Syria's Kurdish areas since 2004. That year,riots broke out against the government in the northeastern Kurdish-Assyrian town of Qamishli. During a chaotic soccer match, some people raised Kurdish flags, and the match turned into a political conflict. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CJS Battery In a brutal reaction by Syrian police and clashes between Kurdish and Arab groups, at least 30 people were killed,[96] with some claims indicating a casualty count of about 100 people.[97] Occasional clashes between Kurdish protesters and security forces have since continued. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CYS Battery Human rights in Syria have been described as "poor".[1] From 1963 until April 2011, the emergency rule had remained in effect which gave security forces sweeping powers of arrest and detention.[2] The country is governed by a one-party state without free elections.[2] Sony VAIO VGN-AW91DS Battery The authorities harass and imprison human rights activists and other critics of the government.[3] Freedom of expression, association and assembly are strictly controlled.[2][3]Women and ethnic minorities face discrimination.[2][3] According to Human Rights Watch, Sony VAIO VGN-AW91JS Battery President Bashar al-Assad failed to improve Syria’s human rights record in the first 10 years of his rule,[4] and by the eleventh (2011), Syria's human rights situation had become one of the worst in the world.[5] According to Amnesty International, the government may be guilty ofcrimes against humanity based on "witness accounts of deaths in custody, Sony VAIO VGN-AW91YS Battery torture and arbitrary detention," during the crackdown against the 2011 uprising. In 1926, the Damascus military court executed 355 Syrians without legal representation and public hangings were frequent. Hundreds of Syrians were sentenced to death in absentia, prison terms of various lengths and life imprisonment with hard labor. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CDS Battery In 1925-1927, military forces publicly displayed mutilated corpses in central squares in Damascus and villages throughout Syria.In 1982 Hafez al-Assad responded to an insurrection in the city of Hama by sending a paramilitary force toindiscriminately kill between 10,000 and 55,000 civilians including children, women, and the elderly.[8][9] Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CJS Battery Amnesty International reports that women have been subject to discrimination and gender-based violence.[2] For several years, the "watchdog organization" Freedom House has rated political rights in Syria as "7" — the "least free" rating on its scale of 1 to 7 — and given Syria a rating of "Not Free".[10] Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CYS Battery According to the 2008 report on human rights by the United States State Department, the Syrian government's "respect for human rights worsened". Members of the security forces arrested and detained individuals without providing just cause, often held prisoners in "lengthy pretrial and incommunicado detention", and "tortured and physically abused prisoners and detainees". Sony VAIO VGN-AW92DS Battery The regime imposed significant restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association, amid an atmosphere of government corruption.[11]According to Arab Press Freedom Watch, the current regime has one of the worst records on freedom of expression in the Arab world, second behind North Korea on Earth. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92JS Battery According to Arab Press Network, "despite a generally repressive political climate", there were "signs of positive change," during the 2007 elections.[12] According to a 2008 report by Reporters without Borders, "Journalists have to tightly censor themselves for fear of being thrown into Adra Prison."[13] Sony VAIO VGN-AW92YS Battery In 2009 Syria was included in Freedom House's "Worst of the Worst" section and given a rating of 7 for Political Rights: and 6 for Civil Liberties.[14]According to Human Rights Watch, as of 2009 Syria’s poor human rights situation had "deteriorated further". Authorities arrested political and human rights activists, censored websites, detained bloggers, and imposed travel bans. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93FS Battery Syria’s multiple security agencies continue to detain people without arrest warrants. No political parties were licensed and emergency rule, imposed in 1963, remained in effect. Syria has a long history of arbitrary arrest, unfair trials and prolonged detention of suspects. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93GS Battery Thousands of political prisoners remain in detention, with many belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood and the Communist Party.[3] Since June 2000, more than 700 long-term political prisoners have been freed by President al-Asad, though an estimated 4,000 are reportedly still imprisoned.[3] Sony VAIO VGN-AW93HS Battery Information regarding those detained in relation to political or security-related charges is not divulged by the authorities.[3] The government has not acknowledged responsibility for around 17,000 Lebanese citizens and Palestinians who "disappeared" in Lebanon in the 1980s and early 1990s and are thought to be imprisoned in Syria.[3] Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZFS Battery In 2009, hundreds of people were arrested and imprisoned for political reasons. Military Police were reported to have killed at least 17 detainees.[2] Human rights activists are continually targeted and imprisoned by the government. Among the scores of prisoners of conscience arrested in 2009, and hundreds political prisoners already in prison, some of the more prominent prisoners were: Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZGS Battery Kamal al-Labwani, a prisoner of conscience who had three years added to his 12 year sentence for allegedly “broadcasting false or exaggerated news which could affect the morale of the country”, on account of remarks he was alleged to have made in his prison cell.[2] Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZHS Battery

Nabil Khlioui, an alleged Islamist from Deir al-Zour, who with at least 10 other Islamists "remained in incommunicado detention without charge or trial at the end of 2009.[2]

Nabil Khlioui and at least 12 other alleged Islamists, mostly from Deir al-Zour, were arrested. At least 10 of them remained in incommunicado detention without charge or trial at the end of the year. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11EN Battery Mesh’al al-Tammo, the killed spokesperson for the unauthorized Kurdish Future Current group, who was `held incommunicado for 12 days and charged with “aiming to provoke civil war or sectarian fighting”, “conspiracy” and three other charges commonly brought against Kurdish activists,` charges that could lead to the death penalty. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN Battery Twelve leaders of a prominent gathering of opposition groups, the Damascus Declaration, continue to serve 30-month prison terms. Among those detained is Riad Seif, 62, a former member of parliament who is in poor health.[1] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11XN Battery
  • Habib Saleh was sentenced to three years in jail for “spreading false information” and “weakening national sentiment” in the form of writing articles criticizing the government and defending opposition figure Riad al-Turk.[1]
one released prisoner was Aref Dalila. He had served seven of the ten years in his prison sentence, much of it in solitary confinement and in increasingly poor health, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12VN Battery

for his involvement in the so-called “Damascus Spring” before being released by a presidential pardon.[2]

In June 2010, Mohannad al-Hassani, head of the Syrian Organisation for Human Rights (Swasiya) and winner of the 2010 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, was convicted of "weakening national morale" and "conveying within Syria false news that could debilitate the morale of the nation". He was sentenced to three years in prison.[16] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12XN Battery Sednaya prison alone houses more than 600 political prisoners. The authorities have kept many for years behind bars, often well past their legal sentence. The estimated 17,000 prisoners who have disappeared over the years suggests that Syria may have hidden mass graves.[8] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31VT Battery In a 2006 report, Human Rights Watch reported on the continued detention of "thousands" of political prisoners in Syria, "many of them members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood and the Communist Party." According to the Syrian Human Rights Committee that there were 4,000 political prisoners held in Syrian jails in 2006. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31XT Battery The Constitution provides for freedom of religion; however, the Government restricts this right. While there is no official state religion, the Constitution requires that the president be Muslim and stipulates that Islamic jurisprudence, an expansion of Sharia Islamic law,[18] is a principal source of legislation. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560 Battery According to the U.S. Department of State's "International Religious Freedom Report 2007", the Constitution provides for freedom of faith and religious practice, provided that the religious rites do not disturb the public order. According to the report, the Syrian Government monitored the activities of all groups, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N24 Battery including religious groups, discouraged proselytism, which it deemed a threat to relations among religious groups. The report said that the Government discriminated against the Jehovah's Witnesses and that there were occasional reports of minor tensions between religious groups, some attributable to economic rivalries rather than religious affiliation. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N30 Battery Article 520 of the penal code of 1949, prohibits having homosexual relations, i.e. "carnal relations against the order of nature", and provides for at least three-years imprisonment.[20] In 2010 the Syrian police began a crackdown that led to the arrest of over 25 men. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P Battery The men were charged with various crimes ranging from homosexual acts and illegal drug use, to encouraging homosexual behavior and organizing obscene parties.[21] The United Nations, meanwhile, has documented that Syrian security services officers had gang raped boys as young as 11 years old during the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P20 Battery The report also documents over 250 children killed - some as young as two years old. The number of news media has increased in the past decade, but the Ba'ath Party continues to maintain control of the press.[24] Journalists and bloggers have been arrested and tried.[4] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P22 Battery In 2009, the Committee to Protect Journalists named Syria number three in a list of the ten worst countries in which to be a blogger, given the arrests, harassment, and restrictions which online writers in Syria faced.[25] Internet censorship in Syria is extensive. Syria bans websites for political reasons and arrests people accessing them. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P28 Battery Internet cafes are required to record all the comments users post on chat forums.[26] Websites such as Wikipedia Arabic, Youtube and Facebook were blocked from 2008 to 2011.[27] Filtering and blocking was found to be pervasive in the political and Internet tools areas, and selective in the social and conflict/security areas by the OpenNet Initiativein August 2009. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P30 Battery Syria has been on Reporters Without Borders' Enemy of the Internet list since 2006 when the list was established.[29] In addition to filtering a wide range of Web content, the Syrian government monitors Internet use very closely and has detained citizens "for expressing their opinions or reporting information online." Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P34 Battery Vague and broadly worded laws invite government abuse and have prompted Internet users to engage in self-censorshipto avoid the state's ambiguous grounds for arrest.[28][30] The Syrian Centre for Media and Free Expression was closed by the government in September 2009. It was the country’s only NGO specializing in media issues, Internet access and media monitoring during election campaigns. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561 Battery It had operated without government approval, and had monitored violations of journalists’ rights and had taken up the cause of the ban on the dissemination of many newspapers and magazines. During the Syrian civil war, a UN report described actions by the security forces as being "gross violations of human rights".[32] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561N20 Battery The UN report documented shooting recruits that refused to fire into peaceful crowds without warning, brutal interrogations including elements of sexual abuse of men and gang rape of young boys, staking out hospitals when wounded sought assistance, and shooting of children as young as two.[22] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561P20 Battery In 2011 Human Rights Watch stated that Syria's human rights situation is among the worst in the world.[5] The majority of these violations been committed by the Syrian government's forces,[33] though Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has said that both sides appear to have committed war crimes. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ562P Battery In December 2010, mass anti-government protests began in Tunisia and later spread across the Arab world, including Syria. By February 2011, revolutions occurred in Tunisia and Egypt, while Libya began to experience a civil war. Numerous other Arab countries also faced protests, with some attempting to calm the masses by making concessions and governmental changes. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ563P Battery The events were later commonly referred to as the Arab Spring. Before the uprising in Syria began in mid-March 2011, protests were relatively modest, considering the wave of unrest that was spreading across the Arab world. Syria remained what Al Jazeera described as a "kingdom of silence", Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAFS Battery due to strict security measures, a relatively popular president, religious diversity, and concerns over the prospects of insurgency likethat seen in neighboring Iraq.[98] The events began on 26 January 2011,[99] when Hasan Ali Akleh from Al-Hasakah poured gasoline on himself and set himself on fire, in the same way Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi had in Tunis on 17 December 2010. Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAHS Battery According to eyewitnesses, the action was "a protest against the Syrian government".[100] Two days later, on 28 January 2011, an evening demonstration was held in Ar-Raqqah to protest the killing of two soldiers of Kurdish descent. On 3 February, a "Day of Rage" was called for in Syria from 4–5 February on social media websites Facebook and Twitter; Sony VAIO VGN-BZAANS Battery however, protests failed to materialize within the country itself.[102] Hundreds marched in Al-Hasakah, but Syrian security forces dispersed the protest and arrested dozens of demonstrators.[103] A protest in late February at the Libyan Embassy inDamascus to demonstrate against the government of Muammar Gaddafi, Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAPS Battery facing his own major protests in Libya, was met with brutal beatings from Syrian police moving to disperse the demonstration against a friendly regime.[104] On 6 March young boys were arrested in the city of Daraa for writing the slogan "the people want to overthrow the regime" on walls across the city. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/Q Battery The following day 13 political prisoners went on a hunger strike protesting "political detentions and oppression" in their country demanding the implementation of civil and political rights. Three days later dozens of Syrian Kurds started their own hunger strike in solidarity with these other strikers.[105] Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/R Battery During this time, Ribal al-Assad, a government critic, said that it was almost time for Syria to be the next domino in the burgeoning Arab Spring.The protests, unrest and confrontations began in earnest on 15 March, when the protest movement began to escalate, as simultaneous demonstrations took place in major cities across Syria. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/W Battery In Damascus, a crowd of 150 was heard chanting "The revolution has started!"[108] Protesters demanded the release of political prisoners, the abolition of Syria's 48-year emergency law, more freedoms, and an end to pervasive government corruption.[109] On 16 March, some 200 people gathered in front of the Interior Ministry, calling for the release of political prisoners. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery

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