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UPR of Syria – Joint contribution from MRG and Ceasefire

15 July 2021

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) and the Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights are calling on states to use the opportunity of the 3rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Syria, scheduled for January 2022, to address the situation of vulnerable groups in the country, including persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, women, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.

The submission provides information and detailed recommendations about what the Syrian authorities must do in order to respect and fulfill their human rights obligations vis-à-vis the most vulnerable segment of Syria’s society.

The full submission can be accessed here.

MRG and Ceasefire urge states to recommend the following to the Syrian Arab Republic during its UPR:

  1. Release all arbitrarily detained individuals including activists, human rights defenders, and peaceful civilian protestors.
  2. Uphold protections and guarantees for Syrian detainees as mandated by the Syrian Constitution, the Code of Criminal Procedures, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture.
  3. Repeal laws that contribute to arbitrary detention, including Legislative Decree No. 55/2011 and Anti-Terrorism Law No. 19.
  4. Uphold Article 53(2) of the Syrian Constitution that states ‘[n]o one may be tortured or treated in a humiliating manner’ and invite the UN Special Rapporteur on torture to visit the country.
  5. Allow independent journalists, human rights monitors and observers into Syrian state detention units, including all branches of the General Intelligence Directorate, Political Security Directorate, Military Security Directorate, and Air Force Intelligence Directorate, where torture and sub-standard detention conditions have been reported.
  6. Extend constitutional and legal recognition afforded to Muslims, Christians and other minorities to Yazidis, and end the discriminatory ban against Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  7. End the use of sectarian language to characterize political opposition in official state discourse and prevent the dissemination of such content in the media.
  8. Rehabilitate and provide socio-psycho support for woman and girls who have been victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
  9. Abide at all times to Syria’s obligations under international humanitarian law, including:
    1. prohibiting all attacks targeting the civilian population or civilian objects and prohibiting indiscriminate attacks;
    2. ending the denial in besieged areas of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population and facilitating access to humanitarian assistance without restrictions, in particular to populations most affected including internally displaced persons

UPR Syria – Joint Submission MRG and Ceasefire