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Cite as: [2012] UKUT 00426 (IAC), [2012] UKUT 426 (IAC)

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Upper Tribunal

(Immigration and Asylum Chamber)


KB (Failed asylum seekers and forced returnees) Syria CG UKUT 00426 (IAC)





Heard at : Field House

Determination Promulgated

On : 6th – 7th March 2012 and 7th August 2012








Upper Tribunal Judge Eshun

Upper Tribunal Judge McKee

Upper Tribunal Judge Pitt





secretary of state for the home department










For the Appellant: Mr Stuart Ouseley of the Specialist Appeals Team

For the Respondent: Mr Zia Nasim, instructed by Aman Solicitors Advocates


a.   This country guidance replaces previous guidance in SA & IA (Undocumented Kurds) Syria CG [2009] UKAIT 00006.


b.   In the context of the extremely high level of human rights abuses currently occurring in Syria, a regime which appears increasingly concerned to crush any sign of resistance, it is likely that a failed asylum seeker or forced returnee would, in general, on arrival face a real risk of arrest and detention and of serious mistreatment during that detention as a result of imputed political opinion. That is sufficient to qualify for refugee protection. The position might be otherwise in the case of someone who, notwithstanding a failed claim for asylum, would still be perceived on return to Syria as a supporter of the Assad regime.  




1.            This appeal was heard by the above named panel on 6 and 7 March 2012.  Upper Tribunal Judge McKee became unavailable as a result of which the hearing on 7 August 2012 was presided over by Upper Tribunal Judges Eshun and Pitt. This is a decision of the two remaining members of the panel, to which both contributed.


2.            This is an appeal by the Secretary of State against a determination of the First-tier Tribunal (Judge Canavan), allowing an appeal by a Syrian national (of Arab ethnicity and hailing from a village near Tartous) against the decision on 12 April 2010 to remove him as an illegal entrant, consequent on the refusal of his asylum claim.  For convenience, we shall retain the designations ‘appellant’ and ‘respondent’ for the parties as they were before the First-tier Tribunal.  This case has been listed for country guidance on Syria, but before we turn to more general considerations, we shall set out the factual background to the appellant’s own case.


3.            On 17 February 2009 (the same day as he is said to have arrived in the United Kingdom in the back of a lorry), the appellant was arrested by the police in Kent and taken to Bexleyheath Police Station.  He initially claimed to be a Palestinian, but a search on ‘livescan’ revealed that he was a Syrian who, on 29 November 2007, had been refused a visit visa by the British Embassy in Beirut.  An immigration officer now attended the police station, and in a taped interview the appellant explained that he had pretended to be Palestinian so that his real immigration history would not be known.  He now admitted that he had left Syria the previous month and had travelled through many countries before reaching Italy.  From there he went by train to Belgium, where he concealed himself in the lorry which brought him to this country.  His reason for coming here was to work and thereby support his family in Syria, who were very poor.


4.            Bio-Data Information signed by the appellant the next day included the information that he had been employed as a car electrician in Arab Alshatea, near Tartous, from 2004 to 2009.  On 24 February 2009 an application form for an Emergency Travel Document was filled in by an immigration officer, but the proposed removal never took place, and a year later, on 1 March 2010, the appellant claimed asylum.  At a Screening Interview the same day he said that he had crossed the border between Syria and the Lebanon on 12 July 2007 and had stayed there with cousins until 22 January 2009, when he was smuggled onto a ship.  The ship brought him to an unknown country, where he stayed for a month before being put on the lorry which took him to this country on 18 February 2009.  He had no documents with him at the time, but he was able subsequently to produce his Syrian passport.  His uncle had paid approximately 2,000-3,000 Euros to an agent, in order for him to come here.


5.            The appellant now said that he had gone to the Lebanon to avoid being arrested when the police broke up a demonstration which he had attended.  He wanted to demonstrate for a change of regime because a lot of his relatives had been arrested, although he himself was not involved with any political party while in Syria.


6.            On 11 March 2010 the appellant had his Asylum Interview, in which he said that 15 of his friends were arrested on 1 December 2007, and that he himself fled to the Lebanon just in time, before the security forces came to his house on 7 December 2007 with an arrest warrant.  The appellant had become incensed with the regime after completing his military service in 2007, because two of his relatives had been arrested.  One was never released, while the other had lost his mind by the time he was released.  During his stay in the Lebanon the appellant got involved in political activities, until that country also became too risky for him.  The Syrian passport, issued on 18 July 2007, which the appellant brought to the interview, had been stamped by the British Embassy in Beirut on 5 November 2007, and the stamp had been subsequently crossed through to show that the visa application had been rejected.  The appellant acknowledged that he had gone to the Lebanon to make the application.  It was easy to get there from Arab Shatie (a village in Lebanon) without any ID at all, as it was close to the border and one just had to cross over a small river.


7.            At the appeal hearing on 14 June 2010 the appellant added that the security forces had been back to the family home several times, looking for him, and that three of his brothers had been arrested on different occasions and detained for one or two days, to intimidate them.  But Judge Canavan was “unable to accept that the authorities came to know about his political activities and approached his family in the way that he says.”  Indeed, she made an overall negative credibility finding:


“In the absence of any further evidence to support his claim I find that serious doubts are raised about the credibility of the core aspects of the appellant’s account.  His account of his political activities has been vague and his actions in obtaining a passport and applying for entry clearance do not indicate that he was of any interest to the authorities at the time.  His subsequent actions in returning to Syria and then travelling back to Lebanon, and his behaviour on arrival in the UK, are not consistent with someone who has a well-founded fear of persecution.  His account of the authorities showing interest in his family after he left the country has been confused and contradictory and I found his evidence on this issue to be unclear and unreliable.  I conclude that, in the absence of any further evidence, I am unable to accept the core aspects of the appellant’s account even on the low standard of proof.  The appellant has failed to establish the overall credibility of his account.  His actions show that his main motivation for coming to the UK appears to have been to learn English and find work.”


8.            Judge Canavan nevertheless allowed the appeal.  She consulted the most recent country guidance in SA & IA (Undocumented Kurds) Syria CG [2009] UKAIT 6, focusing upon paragraphs 6 and 7 of the italicised head-note :


“6. There is no real risk that leaving Syria illegally would, in the absence of additional aggravating factors, result in ill-treatment on return amounting to persecution or a breach of human rights.

7. A failed asylum seeker will not be perceived as being an opponent of the regime simply by reason of having claimed asylum abroad and will not as such be at real risk of persecutory ill-treatment on return.”


9.            These two conclusions had, the judge thought, been overtaken by the deteriorating situation in Syria since the country guidance case was heard in November 2008, albeit the evidence for that was slight.  Indeed, the only evidence before her was a change in the wording between the US State Department Report for the year 2007 and that for the year 2009.  The former said that the Syrian government “routinely arrested dissidents who tried to return to the country after years or even decades in exile”, whereas the latter said that the government “routinely arrested dissidents and former citizens with no known political affiliation who tried to return to the country after years or even decades in exile.”  The Report for 2009 also mentioned numerous reports by human rights organisations of the security forces arresting people who were not apparently involved in political activities.  The phrases “numerous reports” and “routine arrests” indicated to Judge Canavan that such incidents were now likely to be sufficiently regular and systematic to create at least a ‘serious possibility’ or a ‘reasonable degree of likelihood’ of ill-treatment on return, even to a person with no known political profile.


10.        Permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal was sought by the Secretary of State, on the basis that the phrases “numerous reports” and “routine arrests” were in themselves insufficiently precise to found a departure from the current country guidance.  Granting permission on 22 July 2010, Upper Tribunal Judge McKee observed that the phrase “former citizens with no known political affiliation” appeared to mean people who had renounced or otherwise lost their Syrian citizenship, which was not the case with this appellant.  This observation was developed by Mr Blundell, a Senior Presenting Officer, when the matter came before Upper Tribunal Judge Moulden on 11 November 2010. Judge Moulden found that there had indeed been an error of law such that the decision of the First-tier Tribunal had to be set aside, in that the country evidence before the First-tier Tribunal was not of sufficient weight to justify departing from the most recent country guidance case.  Upper Tribunal Judge Moulden’s decision is in the first appendix to this decision.  Paragraph 20 of the decision indicated that Judge Canavan’s findings on credibility and fact were preserved.


11.        The appellant, who had previously been unrepresented, subsequently instructed Sheikh & Co., but that firm ceased practice and Aman Solicitors stepped in at short notice to fill the breach.  The appeal was adjourned for a further hearing, limited to the issue of whether the appellant would be at risk on return, in the light of Judge Canavan’s findings of credibility and fact.  The new solicitors needed time to prepare, and wished to obtain an expert report.  In May 2011 it was adumbrated at a Case Management Review Hearing that the case might be suitable for country guidance, and although at another Case Management Review Hearing in October Mr Ouseley argued that the time was not right for a country guidance case, the designation has been maintained.  Prior to the substantive hearing in March 2012, Mr Ouseley repeated his view that the appeal should not be set down for country guidance, owing to the volatility of the situation in Syria, but it seems to us that, whatever its ultimate fate, the Assad regime could remain in power for a very long time.  There has been no country guidance on Syria since the current unrest began in March 2011, and there is a clear need for an update on whether the guidance in SA & IA is still to be followed.


12.        In preparation for this hearing, the appellant signed a Witness Statement on 24 February 2012 in which he says that on five occasions, between July 2011 and 18 February 2012, he attended demonstrations outside the Syrian Embassy in London, and that he attended another one in Trafalgar Square.  He has no photographs of himself at these demonstrations.  Meanwhile two of the appellant’s brothers in Syria were, he says, arrested at a demonstration, and were detained for two months, suffering regular ill-treatment.  The authorities have twice searched the appellant’s family home, looking for evidence.


13.        Since signing the Witness Statement the appellant states that he has attended another demonstration outside the Syrian Embassy, and has put together a set of eleven photographs, showing him among a crowd of protestors at this demonstration.  At the hearing on 6 March the appellant gave live evidence, adopting his Witness Statement, and told Mr Ouseley that he had now been to a total of eight demonstrations, the most recent being on 3 March and the first approximately six months previously.  He told Mr Nasim that a relative in the Lebanon had sent his Syrian passport to him about six months after he had arrived in this country.  He did not use the passport in order to travel, lest it be realised that he was a national of Syria.


14.        We pause at this juncture to emphasize that the appeal before us has proceeded on the basis that the negative credibility findings of the First-tier Tribunal, set out in [7] above, are to stand. Indeed, we regard those findings as amply justified.  It is telling that the appellant did not want the authorities in the country of refuge to know that he was from Syria.  He tried to pass himself off as a Palestinian and failed to claim asylum for over a year after being served with illegal entry papers.  Judge Canavan did not believe that the appellant had been in any trouble with the Syrian authorities, or that his parents and siblings had been harassed on account of his activities.  We think it no more likely to be true that his brothers have been detained and ill-treated more recently for taking part in demonstrations, and that his parents have been harassed on that account.  Nor do we accept that the appellant has been to as many demonstrations in London as he claims.  In his Witness Statement he says that the first of these took place in July 2011, but at the hearing on 6 March 2012 he told us that it was six months ago, counting back from March 2012.  There is no corroboration from anyone else that the appellant has been to more demonstrations than the one on 3 March 2012, no letter from an opposition group or even from a friend or fellow-Syrian.  It is trite that asylum seekers may not be able to provide corroboration of a genuine claim, but when corroborating evidence should be easy to obtain, its absence may well affect credibility.


Country Guidance Question


15.        Aman Solicitors Advocates have provided us with several lever-arch files with material about the unrest which has beset Syria since March 2011 and its brutal suppression by the Ba’athist regime.  Most of this is not central to our deliberations but it does provide important background.  The violence that has occurred will be familiar to anyone who follows the news.  An Amnesty International report published on 14 March 2012 gives graphic details of the torture methods practised in detention centres over the past year.  There can be no doubt that opposition activists, or those perceived to be such, who fall into the hands of the regime, are at real risk of serious ill-treatment.  So much is acknowledged in paragraphs 59 and 60 and the second paragraph of the head-note to SA & IA: “a person with an actual or perceived profile of being anti-regime would be at real risk of persecution on return to Syria.”


16.        We are concerned, rather, with paragraphs 75 to 89 of  SA & IA on risks for failed asylum seekers, summarised in paragraph 7 of the head-note as follows:


“7. A failed asylum seeker will not be perceived as being an opponent of the regime simply by reason of having claimed asylum abroad and will not as such be at real risk of persecutory ill-treatment on return.”


17.        The question for us is whether the findings in SA & IA on risk to failed asylum seekers remain valid as country guidance, or whether they have been overtaken by current events in Syria.  We heard oral evidence on this from the well-known expert on Syria, Dr Alan George, who also provided two written reports – one dated 1 March 2012 (superseding an earlier one of 4 March 2011) and an addendum report dated 13 March 2012, sent to us after the hearing.  Amnesty International also put in a report specifically on behalf of the appellant, dated 28 February 2012.  For his part, Mr Ouseley relied principally on the Country of Origin Information Report issued in September 2010 (which of course pre-dates the current unrest) and Operational Guidance Notes issued on 10 November 2011 and July 2012 (which are largely concerned with the current unrest) and he was also able to provide a document dated 16 August 2012 setting out the process followed by the respondent when obtaining travel documents for Syrian nationals. Apart from oral submissions, we have also benefited greatly from Mr Nasim’s skeleton argument and written submissions, filed at our request after the hearing.  Mr Ouseley’s post-hearing written submissions called forth a Reply from Mr Nasim. We were also provided with written submissions dated 1 July 2012 and 15 August 2012 from the appellant’s solicitors and a short submission from Ms Athi for the respondent dated 16 August 2012. We have taken all of these into account in reaching the conclusions which we set out below.





Failed Asylum Seekers


18.        An Interim Operational Instruction of the UK Border Agency, dated 6 January 2012, defers all escorted removals to Syria for the time being.  Removals have also been suspended from several other European countries, as recommended by the UNHCR, while Mr Nasim has drawn to our attention the praise given by the US Committee for Refugees and Migrants to the Homeland Security Secretary on 26 March 2012 having been praised for granting ‘temporary protected status’ to all Syrians currently in the United States.  None of this demonstrates on its own, however, that Syrian asylum seekers in the United Kingdom must be granted refugee status.  As the Zimbabwe litigation shows, enforced removals can be suspended for a very long time, even where real risk on return is not established.


19.        Whether, therefore, failed asylum seekers face a real risk of persecution or serious harm or ill treatment contrary to Article 3 is a matter to be considered on the available evidence.  Despite the fact that there appear to have been no forced returns to Syria for some time, there was, nevertheless, opinion on this issue in a number of documents before us.  Firstly, we had the reports and oral evidence of Dr George as regards which we took an entirely similar view to that of the Tribunal in SA & IA at paragraph 47 where it stated:

“We would observe at this stage that we found Dr George to be well informed about Syrian affairs and his evidence to us was thoughtful, detailed and helpful. We were impressed by the way in which in his oral evidence he was careful to avoid exceeding his brief as an expert witness; to indicate clearly when he did not know the answers to questions; and to indicate where there was in his view a grey area. We also have the benefit of having several written reports from him as well as his oral evidence, which taken together have given us the opportunity to see the evolution of his thinking in the context of the other objective evidence. Of course we have to reach our own conclusions on the evidence as a whole and in line with the law but we have given serious weight to his evidence.”


20.         Dr George’s evidence to the Tribunal in SA & IA maintained that the appellant would face mistreatment on return merely because he was a forced returnee.  It was also Dr George’s firm view that any Syrian who has claimed asylum abroad will be perceived as an oppositionist, which is quite sufficient cause for him to be detained and maltreated on return. However the Tribunal at paragraph 89 of SA & IA did not find it would agree on this issue.  Does the more recent evidence suggest a different conclusion?


21.         In his report of 1 March 2012, Dr George confirms that nearly all those who have been arrested and maltreated after being forcibly returned to Syria have had a political profile, as known or suspected members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Kurdish separatists, etc.  According to the April 2007 report by the Danish Refugee Council, and indeed according to what a senior official at the Syrian Embassy in London told Dr George in 2006, the Syrian authorities did not regard everyone who seeks asylum abroad as an opponent of the regime, recognising that some Syrians have economic motives for doing so.  This was also the view of the UNHCR Representative in Damascus, whereas the London-based Syrian Human Rights Committee insisted in 2008 that “any one who applies for asylum and [is] known to the Syrian security services will be arrested, prosecuted and detained for distributing false information about Syria.” 


22.         Until a joint report of the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin & Asylum Research and Documentation, the Austrian Red Cross and the Danish Immigration Service was published in May 2010, the most that could be said, according to Dr George, was that “it would have been imprudent to assert categorically that claiming asylum abroad in and of itself would never cause adverse attention from the Syrian authorities. … Evidently, it was something that did happen, albeit that it did not happen routinely or even often.” 


23.         The Austrian-Danish report of May 2010, however, included this information from a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch (HRW) in Beirut:


“[R]eturned failed asylum seekers are most likely detained upon return to Syria, although not necessarily for a long period of time.  It was added that there was a high likelihood of ill-treatment during their initial detention which can amount to torture if the person is expected to know something of interest to the security service.  What will happen to a returnee depends on what is in the file (if there is one) or on whether the security services believe what the returnee tells.  Usually, the authorities release returnees after making a file on them and probably refer them to an investigative judge.  Upon release persons are very commonly required to report regularly.”




“Regarding the situation for failed asylum seekers, Nadim Houry, HRW, state that every returned failed asylum seeker will automatically be detained and interrogated.”


24.         The example given by the HRW researcher, however, was that of a Kurdish musician who left Syria in the aftermath of an uprising in 2004 and sought asylum in Norway.  He was mistreated on return as a failed asylum seeker but it seems to us that his profile was somewhat different to that of a failed asylum seeker who may have left for purely economic reasons.


25.         The Austrian-Danish report indicates, however, that the view of the HRW researcher on failed asylum seekers being likely to be detained on return was also held by a number of Western diplomatic sources who remained unnamed.  One ”Western diplomatic source” stated that a failed asylum seeker:


“would be detained upon return to Syria simply because of the fact that he or she has been abroad.  The person would be subjected to interrogation by the security services.  However, it is unclear how the person would be treated during this detention that in some cases could last for weeks or even longer.”


26.         Another comment from “a Western diplomatic source” was that out of the four Syrian nationals repatriated in recent months, three were detained and then released and one was charged with spreading false information abroad.  We noted that those returns would have been at some point in late 2009 where the Austrian-Danish report was published in May 2010.


27.         Two Operational Guidance Notes (OGNs), dated November 2011 and July 2012 respectively, were provided by the respondent and referred to by both parties in their submissions. We took a careful approach to the OGNs, taking into account the caveat at the beginning of both documents that they did not purport to be comprehensive and had to be “read in conjunction with the relevant COI Service country of origin information and any other relevant information”. At the time that we reserved our decision there was no relevant Country of Origin Information Report (COIR) on Syria against which to read the OGNs, as the most recent report was that of September 2010 which, obviously, did not comment at all on the uprisings of 2011 and ensuing events.  However, we were provided with the full versions of all the sources relied on in the OGNs and have set out our views above on what we considered to be the relevant parts. We also noted that the Syria COIR dated 15 August 2012, issued after we reserved our decision, relied on the same sources and did not dissent from anything set out in the OGNs, for example, confirming that the Austrian-Danish report contained evidence of “a number of sources [which] agreed that failed asylum seekers and persons who had left Syria illegally would generally face detention and investigation upon return”. Given that we approached them in that context, we found it appropriate to have regard to the respondent’s guidance to her caseworkers as set out in the OGNs.


28.         The November 2011 OGN concludes the section on “Returning failed asylum seekers” thus:


“3.9.7 Conclusion: The Syrian authorities have become increasingly repressive in recent years, and there are numerous reports indicating that some returnees, including failed asylum seekers, may be at risk of ill-treatment on return to Syria.  The available evidence suggests that returnees of Kurdish ethnicity and those whose opposition to the government is known or suspected by the security services would be at particular risk. Given the growing civil unrest and increasingly volatile conditions, it is possible that returnees would be viewed with suspicion by the authorities and credible reports of the surveillance of Syrian activists and demonstrators in the UK are likely to increase this risk. (our emphasis)”


29.         The OGN of July 2012 refers at 3.11.4 to reports that failed asylum seekers were likely to be detained on return, “simply because they had been abroad.” Relying on the US State Department Report for 2011 and a further Human Rights Watch report dated 3 July 2012, the July 2012 OGN states at 3.11.5:


“Since the outbreak of violent civil disorder, the Syrian authorities have become progressively more brutal in their treatment of individuals perceived to be opposed to the Assad regime. Following the lifting of the Emergency Law in April 2011, security forces continued their previous practices and have carried out larger numbers of arbitrary arrests.  As levels of violent repression of political protest have intensified, anyone perceived to be critical of, or hostile to, the Syrian authorities is likely to face arbitrary arrest and extreme ill-treatment in detention (our emphasis).”

and at 3.11.8:


“Careful consideration should be given to the particular circumstances of the individual, including the reasons for having left Syria, any previous activities within the military or security services, any political profile, or any evidence of having taken part in demonstrations or other expressions of opposition to the regime, including any such activity in the UK. The intention and the ability of the Syrian authorities to monitor all expressions of opposition should not be underestimated.  Even where there has been no previous expression of anti-regime views, a grant of asylum will be appropriate if there is a real risk of the individual being perceived as having opposition sympathies (our emphasis).”


30.         It appears to us that the respondent’s position in the OGNs (also reflected in the sources set out in the COIR dated 15 August 2012) was consistent with that of Dr George and Human Rights Watch as to the increased likelihood of a failed asylum seeker being imputed with opposition sympathies or views on return to Syria.


31.         It is also our view that the developments in the evidence on failed asylum seekers are entirely consistent with the wider and undisputed country evidence on the very marked increase in abuses in Syria from the spring of 2011 onwards.  For example, a comparison of the 2010 US State Department report on Human Rights, already dispiriting enough, with that of 2011, makes for profoundly depressing reading.  The 2011 report sets out the willingness of the regime to use “indiscriminate” and “deadly force against its citizens” with “victims chosen at random and many of them … not associated with the protests” and “the substantial increase in the use of torture” and states that there “were a significant number of exceptionally brutal cases of abuse of children by the regime during the year.” Prison conditions were “[h]arsh and life-threatening”.

32.         How would a failed asylum seeker or forced returnee being returned now fare in that context?  Having surveyed the more recent evidence provided by Dr George, the information contained in the joint Austrian-Danish report and the indication that it was the respondent’s position that it was “possible that returnees would be viewed with suspicion” and “that even failed asylum seekers may be at risk of ill-treatment” we find that we have to take a different view to that expressed in paragraphs 75 to 89 of SA & IA. We accept that in the context of the extremely high level of human rights abuses currently occurring in Syria, a regime which appears increasingly concerned to crush any sign of resistance, it is likely that a failed asylum seeker or forced returnee would, in general, on arrival face a real risk of arrest and detention and of serious mistreatment during that detention as a result of imputed political opinion. That is sufficient to qualify for refugee protection. The position might be otherwise in the case of someone who, notwithstanding a failed claim for asylum, would still be perceived on return to Syria as a supporter of the Assad regime. 


33.         Where a failed asylum seeker would, in general, be at risk on return, the conclusion at paragraph 89 of SA & IA is longer valid. 


34.         Since we have found the appellant to be eligible for refugee protection, he cannot succeed in his claim for a grant of subsidiary protection under Article 15(c) of the Qualification Directive 2004/83/EC, implemented as humanitarian protection under paragraph 339C of our Immigration Rules. Where that is so and given that the country evidence continues to show the violence moving to different but limited areas of the country on an unpredictable course, we say nothing more on this ground.




35.         The appellant’s appeal is allowed because of what we say at paragraph 32.  We are conscious that the usefulness of this country guidance may prove highly contingent and possibly very short-lived. The increasing levels of violence across different areas of Syria may provoke the much debated outside intervention or it may be, as we commented at the outset of this determination that the Assad regime will cling on to power for a long time yet.




36.         We make an anonymity order pursuant to rule 14 (1) (b) of the Tribunal Procedure (Upper Tribunal) Rules 2008.





37.         The decision of the First-tier Tribunal disclosed an error on a point of law and is set aside.


38.         We re-make the decision by allowing KB’s appeal on Refugee Convention grounds and on Article 3 grounds.  He is not entitled to a grant of Humanitarian Protection.


Signed: Date: 21 December 2012


Upper Tribunal Judge Eshun











CASE NO: AA/05466/2010






For the Appellant: Mr M Blundell a Senior Home Office Presenting Officer

For the Respondent: Miss K Grant of Counsel instructed by Aman Solicitors






1. The appellant is the Secretary of State for the Home Department. The respondent is a citizen of Syria who was born on 10 December 1986. The appellant has been given permission to appeal the determination of Immigration Judge Canavan allowing the respondent's appeal against the appellant's decision of 12 April 2010 to give directions for the respondent's removal from the United Kingdom following the refusal of asylum.


2. The respondent claimed to have entered the UK illegally in the back of a lorry on 17 February 2009. He was arrested the same day and claimed asylum on 1 March 2010. He had made an earlier unsuccessful application for entry clearance in Beirut on 29 November 2007.


3. The respondent claimed that he carried out his military service between 2005 and 2007 and during that time he met some young men who wanted to agitate against the government. When he finished his military service he claimed to have become involved with a group who were printing and distributing opposition leaflets. He claimed to have distributed leaflets and to be an opponent of the governing regime. He said that members of his family had been arrested in the past. He claimed that the security forces arrested members of his group and, fearing arrest and torture, he fled the country to Lebanon. He remained in Lebanon for about 10 days before returning to Syria to await the outcome of his visa application, which was refused. He said that he then learnt that further members of his group had been arrested. He left the country with others, illegally, and travelled to Lebanon. He claimed that after he left Syria the security forces came to his family home with an arrest warrant. They had returned at intervals since then. He claimed that three of his brothers had been arrested. He also claimed that two of his friends were arrested in Lebanon and sent back to Syria. He left Lebanon in January 2009, spent about a month in an unknown European country and then travelled to the UK.


4. Neither the appellant nor the respondent was represented before the judge. The respondent attended and gave evidence. The judge found that he was not a credible witness. She did not believe the core aspects of his account. She concluded that his main motivation for coming to the UK was to learn English and find work. The respondent has not sought to challenge these conclusions.


5. The judge made reference to the country guidance case relating to Syria, SA and IA (Undocumented Kurds) Syria CG [2009] UKAIT 00006 which indicated that a failed asylum seeker returning from the UK would not be at risk of persecution absent further aggravating factors. She made reference to the COIR report dated 6 February 2009 and the US State Department Report dated 11 March 2010. In the light of the latter report she concluded that the situation in Syria had deteriorated and that the appellant would be at risk of persecution on return. She allowed the appeal on asylum and Article 3 human rights grounds.


6. The appellant argues that the judge should have followed the country guidance case of SA and IA and there was no evidence of sufficient weight or clarity to depart from this.


7. Mr Blundell submitted that the background to the judge's decision was the finding that the respondent was not a credible witness. His account of events was not believed and if he was return to Syria it would be as nothing more than a returning failed asylum seeker. The judge properly took the country guidance cases as her starting point and he made no criticism of the fact that in the difficult circumstances where neither party was represented she made reference to the used country guidance material contained in the COIR report and the US Department of State Report. She seized on passages which she summarised in paragraph 40 of the determination. He emphasised that the key passage from the March 2010 US State Department Report on which her decision turned stated that the Syrian government "routinely arrested dissidents and former citizens with no known political affiliation who tried to return to the country after years or even decades in exile". The respondent was not a "former citizen". There was no evidence to indicate that he had lost or was being deprived of his Syrian citizenship. Mr Blundell referred me to a number of passages in the country guidance case, in particular between paragraphs 139 and 142. He accepted that at that time the evidence pointed in two directions. The expert witnesses did not agree but UNHCR were of the view that returning failed asylum seekers would not be at risk.


8. Mr Blundell argued that the factors relied on by the judge did not support her decision to depart from country guidance authority. The evidence was not clear. The respondent was not a Kurd, not stateless and not a dissident. The other passages referred to by the judge did not indicate any change from the position assessed by the panel in SA and IA. I was asked to find that there was an error of law, to remake the decision and to dismiss the appeal.


9. Miss Grant asked me to uphold the determination. She argued that the judge was correct in reaching her findings. The US Department of State report was up-to-date and persuasive. The judge did not put too much weight on it. The passage on page 78 supported her conclusion.


10.  Miss Grant submitted that the judge had found that the respondent took part in some politically related activities in Lebanon after he left Syria. I asked her to point me to any passage in the determination which supported this submission. She referred me to paragraph 37 but this contains a broad adverse credibility finding and I can find nothing which supports her contention.


11.  Miss Grant then drew my attention to what she said were the panel's conclusions in SA and IA at page 103 paragraph 4 and page 116 paragraph 2 (these being the page numbers in the respondent's bundle). Mr Blundell objected. I agreed with him that the passages to which Miss Grant referred were not the conclusions of the panel but a record of submissions made to them. Miss Grant argued that the respondent would be at risk on return because he left Syria illegally. She submitted that there was no error of law and the determination should be upheld.


12.  In his reply Mr Blundell pointed out that the respondent had claimed to have taken part in politically related activities in Lebanon. This was addressed in the refusal letter at paragraph 62 but the respondent's claims were rejected by the appellant and the judge. Paragraph 4 of the head note in SA and IA did not assist the respondent. It had not been accepted that he had taken part in any anti-regime activities.


13.  Miss Grant submitted that if I did find an error of law then the respondent, who was unrepresented at the hearing before the judge, should be given the opportunity to submit expert evidence in relation to his contention that the situation for returning failed asylum seekers had deteriorated since SA and IA. I reserved my determination.


14.  The head note to SA and IA, written by the authors of the determination states, in paragraph 6 and 7;


"6. There is no real risk that leaving Syria illegally would, in the absence of additional aggravating factors, result in ill-treatment on return amounting to persecution or a breach of human rights.


7. A failed asylum seeker will not be perceived as being an opponent of the regime simply by reason of having claimed asylum abroad and will not as such be at real risk of persecutory ill-treatment on return."


15.  In paragraph 44 of her determination the judge said;


"44. The only evidence before me that seems different to the evidence in November 2008 is a slight, but perhaps significant, change to the wording of the US State Department report relating to the risk to returnees. The US State Department report for 2007 quoted the COIR report (paragraph 14.05) stating that the government "routinely arrested dissidents who tried to return to the country after years or even decades in exile". The tribunal accepted that those with a known or suspected political profile against the regime would be at risk on return. However, in light of a further deterioration in the human rights situation the most recent US State Department report issued in March 2010 now states that the government "routinely arrests dissidents and former citizens with no known political affiliation who tried to return to the country after years or even decades in exile". The judge emphasised the words underlined.


16.  The judge went on to say, in paragraph 45;


"45. Because the appellant has been unable to find a legal representative to take on his case, and doesn't have a realistic prospect of doing so, the case hasn't been prepared in as full a way as I might have expected if he were represented. It would of course assist me to have an expert opinion from someone of the calibre of Dr George, who gave evidence to the tribunal in SA and IA (Syria), and/or to have a broader range of background evidence to assess the risk on return. Unfortunately I don't have such evidence before me so I have to make my assessment based on the more recent US State Department report."


17.  I find that the judge was right to say that the difference between the evidence before her and the evidence before the Tribunal in SA and IA was slight. I do not accept that, on close examination, it was "perhaps significant". A close examination and comparison of the two passages in the US State Department reports for 2007 and 2010 shows that the only change was the addition of the words which I have underlined in the following passage "routinely arrested dissidents and former citizens with no known political affiliation who tried to return to the country after years or even decades in exile". Whilst it can be said that the respondent is a man with no known political affiliation he is not a former citizen of Syria. There is no indication that he is not now a citizen of Syria. I cannot find and it has not been suggested that there was any evidence to help establish what "former citizen" may mean. In the absence of such explanation the judge neglected to address the obvious meaning which would have excluded the respondent from this category. The judge did not find, as Miss Grant suggested, that the respondent left Syria illegally.


18.  I find that the judge reached a conclusion which was not open to her on the evidence and that there was no evidence of sufficient weight to justify departing from a recent country guidance case.


19.  However, in considering whether to re-determine the appeal without an adjournment I have taken into account the fact that the respondent was unrepresented at the hearing before the judge. The judge had no assistance by way of representation for the appellant and she had no expert evidence or country material put before her by the parties. She properly relied on well-established country material. The respondent is now represented and Miss Grant asked that he be given the opportunity to obtain expert evidence, perhaps on the lines referred to by the judge in paragraph 45 of her determination mentioned above.


20.  I therefore adjourn for a further hearing limited to the issue of whether the appellant would be at risk on return to Syria in the light of the judge's findings of credibility and fact.




Upper Tribunal Judge Moulden Dated 12 November 2010












United Kingdom Border Agency



Country of Origin Information Service Report on the Syrian Arab Republic 

3 September 2010



Operational Guidance Note on Syria

10 November 2011



Interim Operational Guidance Instruction 

6 January 2012



Operational Guidance Note on Syria

July 2012

United States Department of State



2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices:  Syria

7 April 2011



Human rights in Syria

11 July 2011



US policy on Syria

9 November 2011



Regime violence in Syria

27 December 2011



Syria:  the crisis and its implications

1 March 2012



2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices:  Syria

24 May 2012



Country Reports of Terrorism 2011:  Syria

31 July 2012

United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office



Country Profile:  Syria

7 September 2010



Human rights in countries of Concern:  Quarterly Update on Syria, March 2011

30 March 2011



Human rights and democracy:  the 2010 Foreign and  Commonwealth  Office Report (Syria excerpt)

30 March 2011



UK statement on human rights in Syria

28 April 2011



Foreign Office urges British nationals to leave Syria immediately  

19 June 2011



Human rights in Countries of Concern: Quarterly Update on Syria, June 2011

29 June 2011



Minister for the Middle East appalled by ongoing violence in Syria

27 September 2011



The truth is what big brother says it is

27 September 2011



Human rights in Countries of Concern: Quarterly Update on Syria, September 2011

29 September 2011



Syria human rights abuses

6 October 2011



Foreign Secretary appalled at continuing deaths in Syria

8 November 2011



Foreign Secretary welcomes unprecedented Arab League sanctions on Syria

27 November 2011



Foreign Office Minister comments on report detailing horrific human rights violations in Syria

28 November 2011



 Human rights in Countries of Concern: Quarterly Update on Syria, October to December 2011

16 January 2012



Foreign Secretary condemns brutal violence in Syria

4 February 2012



Syria:  ‘An utterly unacceptable situation which demands a united international response’

6 February 2012



Why you shouldn’t question what you know is true

9 February 2012



Travel advice

17 February 2012



Foreign Secretary:  ‘We have to intensify the pressure’ on Syria

24 February 2012



Syria: ‘This is clearly a criminal regime

24 February 2012



Syria Travel Advice

1 March 2012



British diplomatic staff in Syria withdrawn

1 March 2012



Travel Advice on Syria

14 May 2012



Foreign Secretary announces expulsion of Syrian diplomats

29 May 2012



Human rights in countries of concern:  quarterly update on Syria, April to June 2012

30 June 2012



Foreign Secretary updates Parliament on Syria

4 July 2012



Foreign Secretary condemns ‘shocking and appalling’ new Syrian massacre

13 July 2012



Travel Advice on Syria

20 July 2012

Human Rights Watch 



Syria:  government crackdown leads to protestor deaths

20 March 2011



Syria:  security forces kill dozens of protestors

24 March 2011



Syria:  security forces fire on protestors 

27 March 2011



Syria:  stop shooting protestors

5 April 2011



Syria:  rampant torture of protestors

14 April 2011



UN:  rights body should investigate Syrian crackdown 

29 April 2011



Syria:  targeted arrests of activists across country

14 May 2011



‘We’ve never seen such horror’:  crimes against humanity by Syrian forces

31 May 2011



UN Security Council:  demand end to Syria crackdown

9 June 2011



Syria:  rising toll in Homs

1 July 2011



Syria:  shootings, arrests follow Hama protest

5 July 2011



Syria:  defectors describe orders to shoot unarmed protestors

8 July 2011



Syria:  mass arrest campaign intensifies

19 July 2011



UN:  Syria escalates repression after Security Council statement

8 August 2011



Syria:  security forces remove wounded from hospital

7 September 2011



Syria:  investigate possible state role in decapitating woman

26 September 2011



‘We live as in war’:  crackdown on protestors in the Governorate of Homs

11 November 2011



Syria:  shoot to kill commanders named

15 December 2011



‘By all means necessary!’:  individual and command responsibility for crimes against humanity in Syria  

15 December 2011



Syria:  detainees hidden from international monitors

27 December 2011



Syria:  comply with agreement

6 January 2012



Syria:  army shoots protestors attempting to reach observers

11 January 2012



World Report 2012:  Syria

22 January 2012



Syria:  stop torture of children

3 February 2012



UN:  Russia, China vetoes betray Syrian people

4 February 2012



Syria:  stop shelling of residential areas

9 February 2012



‘Friends of Syria’:  push to end indiscriminate shelling

24 February 2012



Syria:  army planting banned landmines

13 March 2012



In cold blood:  summary executions by Syrian security forces and pro-government militias

9 April 2012



They burned my heart:  war crimes in Northern Idlib during peace plan negotiations

2 May 2012



Syria:  sexual assault in detention

15 June 2012



Syria:  end indiscriminate shootings of civilians fleeing country

27 June 2012



Torture archipelago:  arbitrary arrests, torture and enforced disappearances in Syria’s underground prisons since March 2011

3 July 2012



Syria:  inmate describes fatal assault on prisoners

27 July 2012

Amnesty International



Arrests as Syria cracks down on prisoner protests

16 March 2011



Syrian death toll climbs as protests spread

25 March 2011



Syria:  further information:  protestors released but many still at risk

29 March 2011



Call for United Nations Human rights Council Special  Session on Human  Rights Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic:  Joint NGO letter

5 April 2011



Syrians tell of torture in detention amid mass arrests

2 May 2011



Syrian death toll rises as city is placed under siege

8 May 2011



Annual report 2011:  Syria

12 May 2011



UN urged to act following deadly weekend in Syria

5 June 2011



Crackdown in Syria:  terror in Tell Kalakh

5 July 2011



Syria:  torture fear as dozens arrested in Damascus suburb

17 July 2011



Young Syrian activists held amid widespread repression

14 August 2011



Deadly detention:  deaths in custody amid popular protest in Syria

30 August 2011



Fears grow for Syrian activists as deaths in custody increase

12 September 2011



New evidence of Syria brutality emerges as woman’s mutilated body is found

22 September 2011



Syrian men detained incommunicado

25 September 2011



Arrests and death threats silence Syrian activists

26 September 2011



The long reach of the Mukhabaraat:  violence and harassment against Syrians abroad and their relatives back home

2 October 2011



Syria:  campaign to silence protestors overseas revealed

3 October 2011



Assassination of Syrian Kurdish leader a ‘dangerous escalation’

10 October 2011



Syria imposes death penalty for arming ‘terrorists’ as death toll soars

22 December 2011



Arab League should clarify human rights situation in Syria

6 January 2012



Year of rebellion:  the state of human rights in the Middle East and North Africa (Syria excerpt)

9 January 2012



Syria:  abducted Syrian activist at risk of torture:  Georges Moubayed

19 January 2012



Arab League findings on Syria build pressure for UN action

23 January 2012



Syria:  brutal assault on Homs must end

8 February 2012



Syria:  death toll rise as bombardment of civilian areas escalates in Homs

15 February 2012



Syria:  fears for activists arrested in Damascus raid

16 February 2012



Syria:  humanitarian access urged in Homs

24 February 2012



‘I wanted to die’:  Syria’s torture survivors speak out

March 2012[1]



Syria:  repression continues despite Annan plan hopes

3 April 2012



Syria:  deported Palestinian journalist speaks out about torture in custody

17 May 2012



Amnesty International Report

24 May 2012



Deadly reprisals:  deliberate killings and other abuses by Syria’s armed forces

June 2012



Syria:  detained medics tortured and killed amid Aleppo crackdown

26 June 2012



Friends of Syria must use their influence to stop cycle of repression and violence

5 July 2012



Syria:  Security Council vote will embolden violators

19 July 2012



Syria:  disturbing reports of summary killings by government and opposition forces

25 July 2012



All-out repression: purging dissent in Aleppo, Syria

1 August 2012



Syria:  from all-out repression to armed conflict in Aleppo

1 August 2012

United Nations



Written statement submitted by Amnesty International (The Syrian Arab Republic:  a situation that demands action by the Human Rights Council)

27 April 2011



Resolution S-16/1 – the current human rights situation in the Syrian Arab republic in the context of recent events

28 April 2011



Report of the special rapporteur on extrajudicial or arbitrary executions:  summary of information, including individual cases transmitted to governments and replies received (Syria excerpt)

26 May 2011



Preliminary report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic

13 June 2011



Security Council, in statement condemns Syrian authorities for ‘widespread violations of human rights, use of force against civilians’

2 August 2011



Syria must stop using violent strategies against civilians, now

4 August 2011



Report of the fact-finding mission on Syria pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution S-16/1 (advance unedited version)

17 August 2011



Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic

 14 September 2011



General Assembly Resolution:  situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic

17 November 2011



Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

23 November 2011



Syria:  UN Committee Against Torture concerned about gross

and widespread rights violations

25 November 2011



Syrian forces have committed crimes against humanity – UN rights panel

28 November 2011



Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at the Human Rights Council 18th Special Session to examine the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic

2 December 2011



Resolution S-18/1:  the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic  

2 December 2011  



Statement delivered on behalf of all Special Procedures mandate-holders of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic

2 December 2011



Statement by Paulo Pinheiro, Chairperson of the Independent

International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, on the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

2 December 2011



Written statement submitted by Amnesty International (No more impunity for crimes against humanity in Syria)

2 December 2011



UN rights chief says Syria could plunge into civil war as more soldiers defect

9 December 2011



Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review

of the Syrian Arabic Republic

24 January 2012



UNICEF statement on children caught in the bloodshed in Syria

7 February 2012



UN human rights chief urges action to halt escalating violence in Syria

8 February 2012



Press statement:  SRSG Coomaraswamy calls on Syria to

immediately halt all violations against children

9 February 2012



Top UN human rights official says member states ‘must act now’ to protect Syrian people as violent crackdown continues, in briefing to General Assembly

13 February 2012



States must ‘act now’ to protect Syrian population, Pillay tells General Assembly

13 February 2012



Briefing to General Assembly Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights (Syria)

13 February 2012



UN adviser warns of potential sectarian split in Syria

14 February 2012



General Assembly demands Syria halt violence without delay

16 February 2012



General Assembly adopts resolution strongly condemning ‘widespread and systematic’ human rights violations by Syrian authorities

16 February 2012



Syria:  UN experts raise alarm over arbitrary detentions and  likely use of torture

21 February 2012



Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

22 February 2012



Ban asks top UN official to visit Syria to assess humanitarian situation

22 February 2012



Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

28 February 2012



Human Rights Council Resolution:  the escalating grave human rights violations and deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

29 February 2012



UN Human Rights Council deplores ‘brutal’ actions by Syria against civilians

1 March 2012



UNHCR position on returns to the Syrian Arab Republic

2 March 2012



Briefing note on Syria (from the Channel 4 News story showing video footage of torture victims allegedly taken in the Military Hospital in Homs)

6 March 2012



Report of the Secretary General on children and armed conflict 2011:  Syrian Arab Republic

26 April 2012



Amid civil war concerns in Syria, envoy describes ongoing violence as unacceptable

8 May 2012



Syria:  Pillay says El Houleh killings may amount to international crimes

27 May 2012



UN rights committee appalled at deliberate targeting of children in Syria

31 May 2012



Concluding observations of the Committee Against Torture:  Syrian Arab Republic

1 June 2012



House of Commons debate, Hansard Concluding observations of the Committee Against Torture:  Syrian Arab Republic, 1 June 2012, 


11 June 2012



International protection considerations with regards to people fleeing the Syrian Arab Republic

11 June 2012



UN suspends monitoring activities in Syria amid escalating violence

16 June 2012



Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2043 (2012) (July 2012)

6 July 2012



Attack on Syrian village appears targeted at defectors and activists – UN mission

15 July 2012



Increase in registered Syrian refugees, new camps planned in Turkey and Jordan

17 July 2012



Syria:  Ban alarmed by intensifying violence, condemns attack on government building

18 July 2012



UN refugee chief expresses grave concern over numbers of people displaced by violence in Syria

20 July 2012



Syria still ‘of utmost concern,’ UN says after sending half of observer force home

25 July 2012



Pillay warns of consequences under international law as Syria conflict escalates

27 July 2012



Numbers of Syrian displaced rises as violence continues unabated

31 July 2012



Press conference by Kofi Anna, Joint Special Envoy for Syria

2 August 2012



Syria:  amid increase in violence, UN peacekeeping chief warns of ‘main battle’ in Aleppo

2 August 2012

Refugee Review Tribunal (Australia)



RRT Research Response

13 October 2008



Syria – SYR38180 – opposition – anti-government – detention – torture

3 February 2011



Syria – SYR38462 – failed asylum seekers – returnees – Christians

15 April 2011

Institute for War and Peace Reporting



Syria’s not-so-secret police

12 April 2011



Syrian conflict played out on social media

13 April 2011



No going back for Syrian uprising

28 April 2011



Syrian refugees describe army violence

14 June 2011



Controversy over Syria opposition gathering

30 June 2011



Syrians escaping to Jordan tell of suffering

4 August 2011



Arab states desert Syrian leader

18 August 2011



Syria activist family targeted

9 September 2011



Syria conflict – no end in sight

9 September 2011



Syria’s endemic corruption

15 September 2011



Syrian prisoner speaks of torture regime

10 October 2011



Inside the Syrian uprising

14 October 2011



Too late for Syrian dialogue

19 October 2011



Syria:  how far has uprising spread?

25 October 2011



Opposition says Assad won’t honour Arab League

3 November 2011



Calls for Lebanon to end Syria support

10 November 2011



Syrians fear escalation in violence

15 November 2011



Syrian opposition activist says NATO must intervene

13 January 2012



‘Reformer Assad’ myth finally dead

18 January 2012



Fears of divisive conflict grow in Syria

30 January 2012

European Council on Foreign Relations



The elusive point of no return: can Syria be saved?

15 June 2011



How not to intervene in Syria

2 December 2011



Assad’s continued defiance in the face of growing isolation

13 January 2012



Calling Russia’s bluff on Syria?

2 February 2012



Time to talk to Assad?

8 February 2012



Russia’s Syrian dilemma

2 March 2012

Syrian National Council



The Alawi community:  a hostage and a victim of the Assad regime

11 December 2011



Instability in Syria, Anthony Cordesman

13 December 2011



Why the Syrian National Council?

25 December 2011



The Syrian revolution – no place of refuge

27 December 2011



Avec moi, le deluge

2 January 2012



The SNC is committed to meeting the goals of the revolution

5 January 2012



The regime is responsible for the bombings in Damascus

6 January 2012



SNC picking up steam

6 January 2012



A failed Observers Mission?

15 January 2012



The Netherlands confirms to the SNC that it will maintain

pressure on the Syrian regime

17 January 2012



Romanticizing revolutions; the Syrian revolution between

fantasy, mythology and reality

22 January 2012



The Arab League needs to get on with it

26 January 2012



Wag the dog meets Assad

3 February 2012



Massacres continue; SNC demands action

4 February 2012



The Russian and Chinese veto gives the Assad regime a license to kill without being held accountable

5 February 2012



Hama Rules, 30 years later

8 February 2012



SNC says Russia’s credibility badly damaged

8 February 2012



The illusion of an opportunity

13 February 2012



Safe area for Libya, Strategic Research and

Communication Centre


Miscellaneous Reports



Syria:  the Syrian government’s attitude towards, and its treatment of, citizens who have made refugee or asylum claims, particularly when the claim was made in Canada for the United States

30 April 2008



Report from a joint fact-finding mission by the Danish Immigration Service and ACCORD/Austrian Red Cross to Damascus, Syria, Beirut, Lebanon, and Erbil and Dohuk, Kurdistan Region of Iraq

May 2010



SHRC Tenth Annual Report on Human Rights Status in Syria,

Syrian Human Rights Committee

January 2011



Freedom in the World 2011:  Syria

11 May 2011



The ghosts of Hama, Aron Lund

June 2011



Popular protest in North Africa and the Middle East (VII):  The Syrian regime’s slow motion revolution

6 July 2011



Popular protest in North Africa and the Middle East (VII):  The Syrian regime’s slow motion suicide

13 July 2011



Uncharted Waters:  thinking through Syria’s dynamics

24 November 2011



Revealing the scale and horror of Assad’s torture chambers, Avaaz

9 January 2012



Beyond the fall of the Syrian regime, ICG

24 February 2012



Now or never:  a negotiated transition for Syria, ICG

5 March 2012



Testimony to US Congress Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

7-28 March 2012



Crimes against humanity in Syria:  systematic torture to quell public dissent, Alkarama for Human Rights

20 April 2012



ICJ submission to the Committee Against Torture for the special report on the Syrian Arab Republic under article 19 (1) of the Convention Against Torture, ICJ

20 April 2012



The worst of the worst:  the world’s most repressive societies 2012 – Syria, Freedom House

2 July 2012



Syria:  a war on childhood, War Child (UK)

23 July 2012



Information wars:  assessing the social media battlefield in Syria, Combating Terrorism Centre at West Point

24 July 2012



Syria:  a full scale displacement and humanitarian crisis with no solutions in sight, Norwegian Refugee Council

31 July 2012



Syria’s mutating conflict, International Crisis Group

1 August 2012

BBC News



Syria unrest:  Arab League calls for end to shooting

2 January 2012



Syria government ‘deceiving’ Arab League monitors

4 January 2012



Syria unrest:  Damascus blast and clashes kill many

7 January 2012



Syria’s Bashar al-Assad blames ‘foreign conspiracy’ 

10 January 2012



Syria:  US condemns Bashar al-Assad ‘conspiracy’ speech

10 January 2012



Remembering the child victims of Syria’s military  crackdown

16 January 2012



Bashar falls back on father’s brutal methods

21 January 2012



PJ Crowley:  Syria crisis upends Mid-East positions

2 February 2012



Fresh protests at Syrian Embassy in London

5 February 2012



Guide:  Syria crisis

6 February 2012



Syria crisis:  fear and abandonment in under-fire Homs

6 February 2012



Avoiding Syria’s secret police

6 February 2012



Syria crisis:  Gulf Arab states expel Syrian ambassadors

7 February 2012



Asma al-Assad and the tricky role of the autocrat’s wife

8 February 2012



Syria opposition dismisses Assad assurances

8 February 2012



Syria crisis:  shelling ‘kills dozens’ in restive Homs

9 February 2012



Newsbeat speaks to Syrian activist

9 February 2012



Analysis: Syria’s complex and bloody crisis

10 February 2012



Syria government and rivals trade blame for Aleppo blasts

11 February 2012



Syria unrest:  Arab League observer mission head quits

12 February 2012



Syria’s slide towards civil war

12 February 2012  



Syria rejects new Arab League peace mission proposal

13 February 2012



Syria to hold referendum on new constitution

15 February 2012



Syria crisis:  UN Assembly adopts Arab-backed resolution

17 February 2012



UK activist lifting the lid on secret Syria

18 February 2012



Egypt recalls ambassador from Syria as violence rages

19 February 2012



Syria unrest:  West stirring civil war, says China

20 February 2012



Syria:  US backs Red Cross call for truce

21 February 2012



Syria steps up Homs bombardment

21 February 2012



UN panel draws up Syria crimes against humanity list

23 February 2012



Syria unrest:  reporters’ deaths spark Western outrage

23 February 2012



UK boosts Syria opposition ties, William Hague reveals

24 February 2012



Syria crisis:  Red Cross Baba Amr evacuation stalls

25 February 2012



Do 55% of Syrians really want President Assad to stay?

25 February 2012



Urgency and frustration at Syria talks

25 February 2012



Syrian referendum in media spotlight,

27 February 2012



Syria shells Homs and northern towns in Idlib

27 February 2012



China calls US critique on Syria ‘super arrogant’

27 February 2012



Syria unrest:  death toll passes 7,500, UN says

28 February 2012



Syria unrest:  surgeon tells of Homs makeshift hospital

29 February 2012



Syria crisis:  UN demands Valerie Amos let into country

1 March 2012



Hague:  British Embassy in Damascus ‘suspended’

1 March 2012



Syria forces assault Baba Amr quarter in besieged Homs

1 March 2012



Red Cross convoy bringing Baba Amr aid stopped in Homs

2 March 2012



UK photographer Paul Conroy – Syria ‘is slaughterhouse’

2 March 2012



David Cameron warns Syria of ‘day of reckoning’

2 March 2012



Syria unrest:  Red Cross urges access to Baba Amr, Homs

3 March 2012



Life in Homs is ‘checkpoint hell’

3 March 2012



Power cuts and price rises as conflict bites in Syria

3 March 2012



Syrian authorities ‘committed crimes’ against civilians

3 March 2012



Syria eyewitnesses:  Homs refugees tell of ‘slaughter’

5 March 2012



Syrian government forces ‘shell rebel-held towns’

6 March 2012



Syria crisis: Valerie Amos describes Homs ‘devastation’

7 March 2012



Syria crisis: Homs at centre of fresh massacre, activists say

8 March 2012



Syria crisis:  Assad issues ‘terrorism’ vow to Annan

10 March 2012



Syria crisis:  Kofi Annan’s Mission Impossible

11 March 2012



Assad rejects external solution for Syria crisis

29 June 2012



Russia-US split casts shadow over Syria Geneva talks

30 June 2012



Syria conflict:  heavy fighting stepped un in Aleppo

5 August 2012



Syria crisis:  Obama rejects US military intervention




Step down now, David Cameron urges President Assad





Syria: new report indicates over 5,000 deaths since March

21 September 2011



Analysis:  civil war becoming a real danger in Syria

26 September 2011



Briefing:  six months into the Syrian uprising

28 September 2011



Syria:  concerns over ‘rampant torture’

6 October 2011



Syria:  violence, sectarianism stalks Homs

22 December 2011



Analysis: 2012 – ‘the year of crisis’ in the Middle East

12 January 2012



Analysis:  worrying signs for food security in Syria

21 February 2012



Analysis:  inside the anti-uprising movement in Syria

23 February 2012



Syria:  fighting in capital adds to growing displacement challenge

20 July 2012

The Economist



Growing steadily less peaceful

19 December 2011



Mission failure

3 January 2012



No end in sight

7 January 2012



Jangling sectarian nerves

7 January 2012



Playing the blame game

10 January 2012



Visibility before all

14 January 2012



It looks like civil war

28 January 2012



Hold your horses

28 January 2012



Pulling out

30 January 2012



The UN stands divided

5 February 2012



How to set Syria free

11 February 2012



The long road to Damascus

11 February 2012



Gloom and bloom

11 February 2012



Syria’s crisis:  an offensive regime

18 February 2012



Syria:  a tactical retreat

1 March 2012



Syria’s crisis:  into the meat-grinder

3 March 2012




Syria bloodshed defies Arab monitor mission

1 January 2012



Head of Syria rebels plans to escalate attacks

3 January 2012



Syrian actress treads new stage in Syrian protests

5 January 2012



Arab monitors say unable to halt Syrian killings

11 January 2012



Syria’s Kurds mistrust government and opposition: activists

11 January 2012



Assad promises victory, Syria accused of war crimes

11 January 2012



Syria’s Assad speaks to crowd in Damascus square

11 January 2012



Some Arab monitors quit over persisting violence

12 January 2012



Syria protests erupt, Arab League fears civil war

13 January 2012



Analysis:  Arab monitors flounder amid Syrian violence

13 January 2012



Analysis – defiant Assad seeks to show he’s still in charge

13 January 2012



Stop the killing, UN chief tells Syria’s Assad

15 January 2012



No plan to send Arab troops to Syria:  League source

15 January 2012



Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood tells world to isolate Assad

19 January 2012



Violence keeps Syria on edge, Arab mission may extend

20 January 2012



Syria protestors find little hope in Arab monitor mission

20 January 2012



Saudi withdraws Syria monitors, urges world pressure

22 January 2012



In cradle of Syrian revolt, army is now in charge

22 January 2012



Syria denounces Arab League for telling Assad to quit

23 January 2012



Red Cross official shot dead in Syria – ICRC

25 January 2012



Outside Syria’s capital, suburbs look like war zone

27 January 2012



Sectarian attack kills same family in Syria

27 January 2012



UNICEF says 384 children killed so far in Syria

27 January 2012



Arab league suspends Syria mission as violence rages

28 January 2012



Syria says will foil Western efforts to sow chaos

31 January 2012



Syria’s Alawites, a secretive and persecuted sect

2 February 2012



Insight – Syria’s Assad set for long conflict

3 February 2012



Syrians storm embassies after uprising’s worst violence

4 February 2012



Israeli minister says Assad’s end may be ‘long and bloody’

4 February 2012



Uprising finally hits Syria’s ‘Silk Road’ city

4 February 2012



Clinton warns more bloodshed if Syria action blocked

4 February 2012



Clinton calls UN Syria vote a ‘travesty’

5 February 2012



UK makes diplomatic protests over Syria violence

6 February 2012



US closes embassy in Syria, vows further pressure

6 February 2012



UN chief Ban ‘appalled’ by Syrian on Homs

6 February 2012



UN rights chief says action on Syria urgent

8 February 2012



Syria raises spectre of proxy conflict for US, Russia

8 February 2012



Russia UN veto on Syria aimed at crushing West’s crusade

8 February 2012



West offers words, only, as Syria killing rages

9 February 2012



Scenes of horror as Syria’s Homs bleeds from siege

9 February 2012



Syria risks civil war, sanctions pointless:  Turkey

9 February 2012



Timeline: crackdown on protests in Syria


undated (accessed on 10 February 2012)



As Syria bleeds, neighbours brace for refugees

11 February 2012



Russia accuses West of arming Syrian rebels

11 February 2012



Syria forces shell Homs, Saudis push UN resolution

11 February 2012



Access getting harder as Syria violence intensifies –  IRRC

11 February 2012



Assad’s forces intensify shelling on Syria’s Homs

11 February 2012



Arabs seek joint UN-Arab force on Syria:  resolution

12 February 2012



Diplomatic inaction fuelling Syria crackdown – UN

13 February 2012



Syria launched ‘indiscriminate attack’ on civilians:  UN 

13 February 2012



Expat Syrian activists turned away at border

13 February 2012



Insight:  Arabs open way for arming Syrians, civil war feared

14 February 2012



Iraqi fighters, arms trickle into Syria as violence grows

14 February 2012



China says ‘wrong steps’ by UN could worsen bloodshed  in Syria

15 February 2012



US dismisses Assad referendum promise as ‘laughable’

15 February 2012



In growing Syria, Obama has few options

15 February 2012



Assad proposes referendum in strife-torn Syria

15 February 2012



Syria sets February 26 referendum on new constitution

15 February 2012



China paper says foreign meddling in Syria risks global economy

16 February 2012



UN head sees possible crimes against humanity is [sic] Syria

16 February 2012



Syrian troops attack Deraa, cradle of uprising

16 February 2012



UN assembly adopts resolution condemning Syria

16 February 2012



EU likely to build up sanctions on Syria: diplomat

16 February 2012



Chinese envoy to meet Syrian leader after UN condemnation

17 February 2012



France, Britain urge unity among Syrian opposition

17 February 2012



NATO to stay out of Syria even if UN mandate emerges

18 February 2012



Syrian forces fire on anti-Assad crowd in capital

18 February 2012



Exclusive:  Venezuela ships fuel to war torn Syria

18 February 2012



Syrian security forces clamp down on Damascus

19 February 2012



Egypt recalls its ambassador to Syria

19 February 2012



Syria intervention drive mirrors Bosnia’s history

20 February 2012



China paper says West stirring up civil war in Syria

20 February 2012



Watching the wounded die in Syria’s besieged Homs

21 February 2012



Red Cross seeks daily humanitarian truce in Syria

21 February 2012



For Syrian children, a picture tells a thousand words

22 February 2012



As Syrians flee Homs, sectarian faultlines deepen

22 February 2012



Syrian opposition calls for referendum boycott

22 February 2012



Russia boosts arms sales to Syria despite world pressure

22 February 2012



Inside and out, divisions keep Syria in stalemate

22 February 2012



Assad forces bomb Syria’s Homs

22 February 2012



Force may be only solution in Syria:  opposition SNC

22 February 2012



China says will not attend ‘Friends of Syria’ meeting

23 February 2012



Republican candidates back arming Syria rebels

23 February 2012



Syrian forces committing crimes on orders from top: UN

24 February 2012



Obama says time for killing of Syrian citizens to end

24 February 2012



‘Friends of Syria’ condemn Assad but see more killing

24 February 2012



Russia urges Syria truce, says rebels share blame

24 February 2012



Kofi Annan appointed UN-Arab League envoy to Syria

24 February 2012



Syria to have ‘more blood on hands’ if blocks aid – Clinton

24 February 2012



Assad’s forces kill 103 in Homs, rest of Syria: group

24 February 2012



No clear successor to Assad’s ‘coup proof’ rule in Syria

27 February 2012



Syria approves new constitution amid bloodshed

27 February 2012



Iran objects to holding UN rights debate on Syria

27 February 2012



New Syrian constitution won 89.4 percent approval: state TV

27 February 2012



Rift develops in Syrian opposition group

27 February 2012



Russia’s Putin warns West not to meddle

27 February 2012



China calls US criticism over Syria ‘totally unacceptable’

27 February 2012



Syria’s once urbane Assad shows ruthless streak

28 February 2012



Syria civilian death toll ‘well over 7,500’ – UN

28 February 2012



Clinton says argument can be made Assad a war criminal

28 February 2012



Bombardment on Syrian town kills 20:  activists

28 February 2012



Syria storms out of UN rights meeting

28 February 2012



‘Pray for us’ say Syria rebels as army closes in

29 February 2012



Smuggling ‘path of death’ a lifeline for Syria revolt

29 February 2012



Syrian rebels say they face 7,000 government troops

29 February 2012



UN humanitarian aid chief denied entry into Syria

29 February 2012



UK withdraws diplomats from Syria, not breaking ties

1 March 2012



Most Syria rebels pull out of Baba Amro in Homs

1 March 2012



UN rights body condemns Syria over violations

1 March 2012



UN concerned Syria may have chemical weapons

1 March 2012



Arab League chief says fuelling violence will not help Syria

1 March 2012



Britain’s Cameron sees day of reckoning for Syrian government

2 March 2012



UN chief slams Syria for ‘atrocious’ Homs assault

2 March 2012



France to shut Syria embassy, awaits UN mandate to act

2 March 2012



WRAPUP 4-Red Cross aid convoy reaches Homs, massacre feared

2 March 2012



I would not have survived in Baba Amr:  MSF surgeon

2 March 2012



Syria extends crackdown, refugees flee

5 March 2012



Syria faces outrage; ‘smell of death’ in Homs

6 March 2012



Syrian district Baba Amr ‘pretty devastated’: UN aid chief

7 March 2012



Panetta defends cautious approach toward Syria

8 March 2012



France will not accept ‘equal blame’ Syria resolution

9 March 2012



US glum on prospects for a new UN Syria resolution

10 March 2012



Annan ends Syria visit with no clear progress

11 March 2012



Dozens of Syrian civilians killed in Homs

12 March 2012



UN chief speaks of ‘grisly reports’ from Syria




Exclusive:  Venezuela ships fuel to war-torn Syria




Syria opposition’s SNC seeks backers but lacks leaders




NATO to stay out of Syria if UN mandate emerges




Syrian forces fire on anti-Assad crown in capital 




Russia says no shift on Syria after Putin victory




Ill-armed Syrian rebels wage unequal struggle




Update 1 – Syrian torture increasingly serious, UN investigator says




Syria begins pulling envoys out of EU: diplomats




Russia says can’t blame one side in Syria crisis




31 dead in Syria, mortars land on protests




Russia says 15,000 foreign ‘terrorists’ in Syria




Russia accuses Libya of training Syrian rebels




Homs leaves UN’s Amos ‘devastated’




Former Lebanon PM says Syrian regime murderous




Air France suspends all flights to Damascus




Canada closes embassy in Syria, imposes sanctions




Heavy clashes erupt in south Syria near Jordan border




Video from Homs hospital shows Syrian torture – report




Syrians flee through snow and gunfire to Lebanon


The Telegraph



Britain under pressure to withdraw diplomatic recognition of Syria

5 February 2012



Assad regime vows to ‘hunt’ down rebels as death toll rises in Syria

7 February 2012



Syria: Gulf Co-operation Council denounces Assad for ‘mass slaughter’

7 February 2012



Graphic:  death toll in Syria reaches 6,000

7 February 2012



Syria activists:  up to 100 die in 24 hours as Assad’s tanks roll into Homs

8 February 2012



Syria:  three families ‘murdered in their homes by Assad’s forces’ as tanks move towards Homs

8 February 2012



Syria:  Iran’s elite Quds force ‘advising Assad regime’

9 February 2012



Syrian regime is ‘hell bent’ on ‘murdering and maiming’ its own people, David Cameron says

9 February 2012



US satellite photographs show Syrian artillery

10 February 2012



Syria:  Russia accuses West of being ‘accomplices’ in violence 

10 February 2012



New British initiative to gather evidence on Syrian war crimes

11 February 2012



Britain to launch new initiative against Syrian war crimes

12 February 2012



Syrian rebels are losing faith in the West

14 February 2012



Can you judge a nation by the company it keeps?  Syria’s thuggish coalition shows how evil this regime is

17 February 2012



Syria:  Assad digs in for assault on town of the doomed

17 February 2012

The Guardian



Arab League monitoring mission criticised for failing to stop bloodshed

2 January 2012



Syria’s protestors are on their own

9 January 2012



Most Syrians back President Assad, but you’d never know from the western media

17 January 2012



Syria violence has risen significantly, says Arab League mission chief

27 January 2012



Arab league suspends Syria monitoring mission

28 January 2012



Syria hurtling towards a bloodier crisis

29 January 2012



Syria army digs in after retaking Damascus suburbs

30 January 2012



Syrian resolution vetoed by Russia and China at United Nations

4 February 2012



Syria:  ‘300 killed’ as regime launches huge attack on besieged city of Homs

4 February 2012



Syria on brink of civil war as diplomacy fails to dislodge Assad

5 February 2012



Syria:  ‘You cannot imagine how brutal it has been’

6 February 2012



Syria envoys recalled by Britain and the US in protest at ‘murderous’ regime

6 February 2012



Syria:  death and division thwart hopes of opposition unity

7 February 2012



Syrian siege of Homs is genocidal, say trapped residents

7 February 2012



Syria:  rockets rain down on Homs as violence escalates

8 February 2012



Inside Homs:  ‘We are seriously dying here.  It is really war

8 February 2012



Syria uprising is now a battle to death

9 February 2012



Syria bloodshed is outrageous, says Obama

10 February 2012



Syria violence spreads to Aleppo as bomb blast kills 28  

10 February 2012



Syria ‘relaunches’ assault on Homs

11 February 2012



We can’t stop the bloodshed in Syria without talking to Assad

12 February 2012



Al-Qaida leader Zawahiri urges Muslim support for Syrian uprising

12 February 2012



Syrian regime ‘emboldened’ by UN inaction, says human rights chief

13 February 2012



Syrian troops attack residential areas in Hama and Homs

15 February 2012



France’s Syrian aid ‘corridors’ on course for UN dead end

15 February 2012



Assad offer of Syrian multi-party elections branded laughable by US

15 February 2012



Ban Ki-moon accuses Syrian regime of potential crimes against humanity

16 February 2012



They are pushing Syria into a religious war that they will certainly get

16 February 2012



UN General Assembly backs call for Assad to quit as Syrian president

16 February 2012



Western intervention in Syria will do more harm than good

17 February 2012



Syrian government blocks live video streaming site Bambuser

17 February 2012



Syrian security forces increase pressure on Damascus protestors

19 February 2012



In Homs we are all wading in blood

21 February 2012



Syrian regime accused of crimes against humanity by UN

24 February 2012



Syria votes on new constitution as shelling of Homs continues

27 February 2012



Razing Homs to the ground will only harden Syrian resistance

1 March 2012



Paul Conroy warns of Syria massacre

2 March 2012



David Cameron demands Assad face war crimes trial over Syria bloodshed

2 March 2012



Homs shelled again as Syrian troops keep Red Cross out

3 March 2012




Syria:  the revolution will be weaponised

23 September 2011



Syria and the unfolding hegemonic game

25 November 2011



Inside Homs with Free Syrian Army

8 February 2012



The battle for Homs

11 February 2012



Syrian violence spills over into Lebanon

12 February 2012



Russia ‘to consider’ Syria peacekeeping plan

13 February 2012



Israel hedges bets on Syria

14 February 2012



Syrian violence continues to stymie UN, NATO

17 February 2012



Chinese diplomat in Syria for talks on unrest

18 February 2012



Iran and Syria:  a show of strength and unity 

20 February 2012



Friends of Syria

27 February 2012



Moscow’s Syrians eye post election change

4 March 2012

Sky News



The Assad regime:  who are Bashar’s allies?

6 December 2011



Syrians still being shot at, despite monitors

2 January 2012



‘Dozens killed’ in Damascus suicide bomb

6 January 2012



Arab monitors injured in Syria protest

11 January 2012



French journalist killed in Syria mortar blast

11 January 2012



Qatari leader:  send Arab troops into Syria

14 January 2012



Saudi Arabia to pull monitors from Syria

23 January 2012



Assad rejects Arab League’s call for reform

23 January 2012



Sky smuggled past Army checkpoints in Homs

23 January 2012



Civilians being killed in Syria massacre

27 January 2012



Syria hits out at Arab League over mission

28 January 2012



Syria:  violence continues amid talks

30 January 2012



Russia stands firm over Syrian peace plan

31 January 2012



Syria clashes:  Homs death toll ‘soars to 350’

4 February 2012



Bloodshed and danger ‘a way of life’ in Homs 

4 February 2012



UN seeks to talk Russia round on Syria

4 February 2012



Syria:  Russia and China veto UN resolution

5 February 2012



UK ambassador pulled from Syria for talks

6 February 2012



Syrian Army pounds Homs in deadly offensive

6 February 2012



Secret memos reveal Assad regime tactics

6 February 2012



Syria’s First Lady backs regime amid attacks

7 February 2012



Hospitals in Homs turned into makeshift hospitals

7 February 2012



Syria:  shelling ‘kills 56’ amid anger at veto

7 February 2012



Homs attack:  is this Syria’s Benghazi moment?

8 February 2012



Russia:  Assad ‘committed’ to ending conflict

8 February 2012



Troops continue relentless assault on Homs

8 February 2012



Defiant Russia hails Syria trip’s success

8 February 2012



Syria bloodshed:  ‘why isn’t the world helping us?’

10 February 2012



Syrian forces ‘enter town near Lebanon’

11 February 2012



Escape from Homs:  despair amid onslaught

12 February 2012



Opposition stronghold prepares for assault

12 February 2012



Fears of ‘all all ground assault’ in Homs

13 February 2012



More bloodshed as UN boss slams Syria

13 February 2012



Syrians under siege amid new bomb attacks

13 February 2012



UN accuses Syria of crimes against humanity

13 February 2012



Clinton:  UN unlikely to send Syria peacekeepers

14 February 2012



‘Six more dead’ in intense Homs shelling

14 February 2012



Obama presses China’s heir apparent on trade

15 February 2012



Syria:  scores killed in Aleppo fight

15 February 2012



Syria:  UN Assembly passes new resolution

17 February 2012



Syria tops agenda at Cameron-Sarkozy talks

17 February 2012



Syria:  fears of renewed assault on rebel city

21 February 2012



World’s hands tied as Syria horror worsens

24 February 2012



The deadly reality of Syria’s referendum day

26 February 2012



Syria:  Assad to allow aid into besieged city

1 March 2012



Syrian ground forces move into rebel Homs

2 March 2012

Miscellaneous news articles



Family fears for missing deportee, Sydney Morning Herald

29 May 2011



Syria:  continued repression through use of enforced disappearances Alkarama for Human rights

5 January 2012



UN warns of surge in violence in Syria, Voice of America News 

10 January 2012



Thousands rally in Syria as Arab League chief warns of civil war, Voice of America News

 13 January 2012



More arrests of journalists and bloggers despite Arab League observer presence, Reporters Sans Frontiers

14 January 2012



At least 30 reported killed in new Syrian violence, Voice of America News

17 January 2012



Reports:  Syrian security forces kill 34 civilians, Radio Free Europe

26 January 2012



Almost 100 killed in Syrian violence Monday: activists, Relief Web

31 January 2012



Syrian troops retake Damascus suburbs as UN showdown unfolds, Voice of America News

31 January 2012



Church leader martyred while helping wounded parishioner in Syria, Barnabas Aid

31 January 2012



Jean-Claude Mignon:  ‘the slaughter in Syria must cease immediately’, Council of Europe

2 February 2012



Activists:  Syrian troops kill more than 217 in Homs, Voice of America News

3 February 2012



United Nations fiddles while Syria burns, Channel 4 News

3 February 2012



Syrian state media denies army role in Homs, Radio Free Europe

4 February 2012



More than 200 dead after shelling in Syrian city, Voice of America News

4 February 2012



Syria:  medicine used as a weapon of persecution, MSF

8 February 2012



Q&A:  why is Syria’s violence worsening now, CNN

10 February 2012



Terror grips besieged city, CNN

11 February 2012



Syrians suffer as government crackdown continues, Voice of America News

13 February 2012



News:  Syria:  crackdown escalates; fears for safety

13 February 2012



Syrian crackdown widens, Voice of America News

16 February 2012



Syrian forces clamp down on Damascus, Voice of America News

19 February 2012



Activists:  Syrian forces kill 63 as Red Cross seeks daily truce, Voice of America News

21 February 2012



Syria:  urgent call for daily halts in fighting, ICRC

21 February 2012



Syria:  continued crackdown on human rights defenders and political activists despite increasing international attention, Alkarama for Human Rights

21 February 2012



Syria shelling kills 74, including two journalists, Voice of America News

22 February 2012



Trapped journalists killed in hell of Homs bombardment, Reporters Without Borders

22 February 2012



UN:  ‘well over’ 7,500 killed in Syrian fighting, Radio Free Europe

29 February 2012



Tortured by the very doctors who should be saving their lives:  smuggled images reveal horror of Syrian hospital patients, Mail Online

5 March 2012



UN rights office documents torture in Syria, Voice of America News

6 March 2012



Syrian army defectors tell of atrocities, Voice of America News

13 March 2012



Syrian refugees in Jordan confirm reports of abuse,  torture, Voice of America News

16 March 2012



Intense fighting rocks Syrian capital, Voice of America News

19 March 2012



Syrian groups:  at least 60 dead in fresh violence, Voice of America News

22 March 2012



US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Praises Obama Administration Decision to Guarantee Syrians Temporary Protected Status, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (press release)

26 March 2012[2]



Growing Islamist influence in Syrian uprising; Christians vulnerable, Barnabas Aid (UK)

28 March 2012



Gunfire from Syria hits border camp in Turkey, IPS

9 April 2012



Syrian forces widen attacks as cease fire unravels, Voice of America News

17 April 2012



Syrian  cease-fire deteriorates with more violence, Voice of America News

24 April 2012



Red Cross:  Syria’s rebels shifting to guerrilla tactics, Voice of America News

8 May 2012



Syrian troops storm rebellious village; violence spills into Lebanon, Voice of America News

13 May 2012



Activists:  Syrian government shelling leave s 90 dead, Voice of America News

26 May 2012



Is Syria’s Bashar al-Assad guilty of war crimes?, Voice of America News

 31 May 2012



Statement by Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the killings in El-Houleh

1 June 2012  



All-out civil war looms in Syria, Annan says, IPS

7 June 2012



UN says Syrian regime killing, torturing children, Radio Free Europe

12 June 2012



Clinton challenges Russia on Syria, UN peacekeeping chief says Syria in civil war, Voice of America News

12 June 2012



Is Syria seeing start of sectarian war?, Radio Free Europe

15 June 2012



Syrian government forces escalate attacks, Voice of America News

17 June 2012



Q&A:  children killed with impunity in Syria, IPS

27 June 2012



Syrian opposition rejects UN transition deal, Voice of America News

1 July 2012



Outrage mounts over Syria massacre, Voice of America News

13 July 2012



Red Cross widens area involved in Syrian civil war, Voice of America News

16 July 2012



Battles rage in Damascus, Voice of America News

17 July 2012



Syria blast strikes at heart of Assad’s rule, Inter Press Service Agency

18 July 2012



Alawites fear future as Syrian conflict intensifies, Voice of America News

19 July 2012



More than 300 killed in Syria, rights group says, Voice of America News

20 July 2012



Why it matters whether Syria is designated as a civil war, Radio Free Europe

20 July 2012



Council conclusions on Syria, Council of the European Union

23 July 2012



Syria bolsters troops in battle for Aleppo, Inter Press Service News Agency

25 July 2012



Thousands flee fighting in Syria’s Aleppo, Voice of America News

30 July 2012



Statement from Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva on worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria, European Commission

31 July 2012



Syrian rebels execute Assad loyalists in Aleppo, Voice of America News

1 August 2012



As fighting escalates in Syria, a frustrated mediator resigns, Inter Press News Agency

3 August 2012



Syria’s Assad must go, and Libya’s resources must benefit all Libyans, says MEPs, Press Release, European Parliament




The Swedish Migration Boards stops all deportations to Syria, Migrationsverket







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