The report states that, “despite the presidential succession, Syrians continued to be denied civil and political rights. Freedom of expression, association, and assembly were strictly limited in law and practice; the local media and access to the Internet remained state-controlled; and the pervasive powers of the security forces under the country’s long-standing emergency law, in force since 1963, were intact. There were no effective safeguards against arbitrary arrest and torture; civilian and military prisons, including the infamous Tadmor in the Palmyran desert, remained off-limits to independent observers; and the Kurdish minority continued to be denied basic rights, including the right to a nationality for tens of thousands. No one inside the country dared to advocate justice and accountability for current and former government officials responsible for gross human rights abuses, including the massacre of possibly as many as 1,100 unarmed prisoners at Tadmor in 1980, and the military assault on the city of Hama in 1982 in which thousands were killed.”
The reportes also highlights that Human Rights Watch continued to receive information about Syrian exiles who were arrested, detained, and subsequently forced to leave countries where they resided and worked because they carried,of necessity, forged passports. As of this writing, there were no reported public initiatives by the government to address this major political and humanitarian issue, which affected entire families, including women and children.
The Full report can be accessed from the HRW web site.