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Syrian Arab Republic

https://www.idea.int/democracytracker/

April 2024

Report alleges widespread rights violations in detention facilities holding IS suspects

A report published in April by Amnesty International alleges that Islamic State (IS) suspects and their families held in detention facilities in the autonomous north-east region of Syria have been subjected to widespread human rights abuses by the authorities there. According to the report, many of the estimated 56,000 detainees had been tortured, suffering ‘severe beatings, stress positions, electric shocks and gender-based violence’ and that ‘thousands more’ had been disappeared. It also found that detainees were deprived of food, water and medical care and that some had died of suffocation in overcrowded cells. The detainees were incarcerated in the facilities following the territorial defeat of IS in Syria in 2019 and Amnesty International states that the vast majority are being indefinitely detained without charge or trial. In their response to the report, the Autonomous Authorities of the North East Syria Region criticised the countries whose nationals were detained in the facilities for failing to repatriate them.  While the detention facilities are run by the autonomous authorities, they were built and refurbished by a US-led coalition of 29 states.

Sources: Amnesty International, Associated Press News  

August 2023

Rare anti-government protests erupt amid growing economic hardships

Since early August, Syria has been experiencing rare anti-government demonstrations, fuelled by economic hardship, the collapse of the Syrian currency, and widespread corruption. Protesters are demanding that the government address these issues, which have exacerbated the already dire living conditions in the country. While the majority of the protests have remained peaceful, there have been occasional instances of violence. Syria’s government has responded with a mix of concessions and crackdowns, but this strategy has failed to quell public discontent.

The protests originated in Syria’s southern regions and gradually expanded to major cities like Damascus and Aleppo, primarily taking place in areas under government control. They have been ongoing for four weeks, calling for regime change and the fall of President Bashar al-Assad.

Sources: Al Jazeera, The New Arab, Al Monitor, The New York Times

May 2023

Syria re-joins Arab League after 12-year suspension

The Arab League voted to readmit Syria on 7 May after its membership was suspended following the regime’s violent crackdown on the uprisings that began in 2011. The move has been criticized for disregarding the regime’s past and persistent violations of human rights, undermining accountability and justice. This is the latest step in regional efforts to normalize relations with the Assad regime after a decade of relative isolation due to its ongoing human rights abuses. As a full member of the organization once again, President Bashar al-Assad was welcomed by the region’s leaders and participated in the summit hosted by Saudi Arabia on 19 May. The Arab League’s unanimous decision has prompted concerns about the region’s commitment to upholding human rights principles.

Sources: National Public Radio, Al Jazeera (1), Reuters, Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera (2), Al Monitor

February 2023

Humanitarian disaster following earthquake near border with Turkey

A devastating earthquake (registering 7.8 on the Richter scale) hit south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria on 6 February and was followed by numerous aftershocks. It is estimated that more than 7,000 Syrians have died and up to 5.3 million have been displaced. In Syria, a humanitarian disaster is unfolding as the effects of the earthquakes have exacerbated an already dire situation, and the ongoing civil war has hindered efforts to reach survivors. The first UN aid convoy reached the country on 9 February after roads leading to the only authorized border crossing for northwest Syria had been damaged by the earthquake. President Bashar al-Assad initially demanded that the government receive all foreign aid for further distribution. However, the UN and President Assad reached an agreement on 13 February to open two additional border crossings from Turkey. Syrians have criticized delays in getting aid to the area, blaming the UN for slow response, and for waiting on permission from the Syrian government. Despite a five times larger death toll in Syria's rebel-held territories than those controlled by the government, north-west Syria has only received 13 per cent of all assistance arriving in the country.

The UN estimates close to nine million people have been affected by the earthquake, and Syria is facing greater levels of cholera outbreaks

Sources: Reuters, Relief WebAl Jazeera, United Nations News, Middle East Monitor

See all event reports for this country

GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
18 275 704
System of government
Presidential system
Head of government
Prime Minister Hussein Arnous (since 2020)
Head of government party
Ba'ath Party
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
Block Vote
Women in lower or single chamber
11.2%
Women in upper chamber
Not applicable
Last legislative election
2020
Head of state
President Bashar al-Assad
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
24/01/2022
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
State Party
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
No Action
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
Regional Treaties
Arab Charter on Human Rights
State Party
in
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
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Representation neutral Rights
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Representation neutral Participation
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Global State of Democracy Indices

Hover over the trend lines to see the exact data points across the years

Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

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