Press Release

PHR Welcomes International Arrest Warrant for Assad and Senior Syrian Officials Involved in 2013 Chemical Weapons Attack

The international arrest warrants issued by a French court for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his brother Maher al-Assad, and two generals for their role in devastating chemical attacks against civilians in 2013 are a crucial first step towards justice for the many victims of the Syrian government’s gross human rights violations, said Physicians for Human […]

November 16, 2023
Chemical Weapons
Press Release

With Security Council Veto, Russia “Cutting Off A Vital Lifeline to Syrians”: PHR

In response to news that the Russian Federation today vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution to renew cross-border aid to northwest Syria for nine months, the following quote is attributable to Karen Naimer, JD, LLM, director of programs at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR): “PHR condemns the Russian Federation’s United Nations Security Council veto […]

July 12, 2023

Mobilizing Health Workers to Safeguard Rights

For more than 35 years, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has worked at the intersection of medicine, science, and law to end human suffering, save lives, and secure justice and universal human rights for all. Read about our impact in our 2022 Annual Report.

June 22, 2023
Asylum, Attacks on Health Care, Mass Atrocities, Persecution of Health Workers, Reproductive Justice, Sexual Violence, Torture

PHR Delegation Brings Evidence and Advocacy to the 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s 52nd session in Geneva concluded this week with some meaningful advances for health and human rights. In addition to the adoption of the landmark resolution on the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment (A/HRC/51/L.7), the Human Rights Council (HRC) also renewed the mandates for several important […]

April 7, 2023
Attacks on Health Care, Mass Atrocities, Weapons
Press Release

“The devastating earthquake compounds crises for Syrians”: PHR

In response to the earthquake Monday in Türkiye and Syria, the following statement is attributable to Houssam al-Nahhas, MD, MPH, Middle East & North Africa researcher at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), who worked in the region until 2019 and now conducts research on human rights and public health in Syria:  “We express our profound […]

February 7, 2023
Press Release

“A Nightmare Every Six Months”: UN Security Council Extension of Cross-Border Aid Keeps Millions of Syrians in Dangerous Limbo

A United Nations Security Council (UNSC) vote to renew the cross-border resolution UNSC Resolution 2642, providing humanitarian aid for another six months through Bab al-Hawa into northwest Syria, keeps millions of Syrians trapped in a perilous limbo, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said today.  Syria’s humanitarian access has been stuck in a cycle of political […]

January 10, 2023
Press Release

“The Bare Minimum”: UN Security Council Reauthorizes Syria Border Aid Crossing for a Mere Six Months, Leaving Millions of Syrians in Limbo: PHR

After a lengthy decision process, the UN Security Council (UNSC) voted today to renew Resolution 2585, which effectively reauthorizes the use of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing from Turkey into Idlib, Syria for six months. The compromise will require member states to hold another vote on a further six-month extension in January. The vote comes […]

July 12, 2022
Attacks on Health Care
Press Release

“The Clock is Running Out”:  UN Security Council Vote on Border Aid Crossing May Imperil Millions of Syrians: PHR

On July 7, the UN Security Council (UNSC) will hold a vote on Resolution 2585, which authorizes the use of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, the only remaining available route for international aid into the besieged region of northern Syria. More than 4.2 million Syrians rely on aid supplied through the crossing, a number that […]

June 28, 2022
Attacks on Health Care

Medical Personnel Are Targeted in Syria

Medical professionals are often on the front lines in conflict situations, providing life-saving health care to civilian communities suffering from violence, abuse, and deprivation. Nowhere has this been truer than in Syria.

June 1, 2022
Attacks on Health Care

As Putin Bombs Hospitals in Ukraine, I Hear Echoes from Syria

This article was originally published by The New Humanitarian, a news agency specialised in reporting humanitarian crises. Many Syrians are experiencing heart-wrenching flashbacks as we watch the mounting devastation in Ukraine and the millions of refugees fleeing. As a Syrian physician who provided medical care amid the war in my country, it’s especially painful when […]

April 13, 2022
Attacks on Health Care, Mass Atrocities
Press Release

Syria’s New Anti-Torture Law Fails to Address Regime’s Crimes Against Humanity: PHR 

In response to Syria’s passage of anti-torture legislation on March 30, the following statement is attributable to Houssam al-Nahhas, MD, MPH, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Researcher:   “Physicians for Human Rights would welcome any systemic measures that prevent the torture and ill-treatment of people in Syria, provide meaningful pathways […]

April 5, 2022

The Disappeared Doctors of Syria

The Syrian government has targeted health care workers with detention, abuse, and torture. Here are some of their stories.

January 27, 2022
Attacks on Health Care, Mass Atrocities, Persecution of Health Workers, Torture
Press Release

German Court Conviction of Syrian Who Oversaw Torture a ‘First Step’ Towards Justice and Accountability: PHR

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) welcomes the landmark verdict against Syrian colonel Anwar Raslan, who was convicted today of crimes against humanity in a court in Koblenz, Germany, and sentenced to life in prison.   Raslan supervised the systematic and brutal torture of more than 4,000 Syrian prisoners in 2011-2012. His conviction today marks the first […]

January 13, 2022


In January 2011, peaceful protesters in Syria took to the streets, demanding basic human rights and dignity. They were met with a fierce crackdown by the Syrian government. That violence has since spiraled into a brutal civil war, devastating the country. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed in the conflict, and millions have […]

January 1, 2022

The Makings of a Health Crisis in Northern Syria

Destruction of the health sector is a signature of the conflict which continues to unfold in Syria. It has occurred in the context of one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and others have documented deliberate attacks on health care facilities and personnel during the past 10 […]

December 15, 2021
Press Release

Syrian Government’s Obstruction of Humanitarian Aid Pushes Health Systems to “Near Collapse” in Northern Syria: PHR Report

Arabic press release here Ahead of the United Nations Security Council’s January 2022 meeting to consider a planned six-month renewal of the July 2021 vote to reauthorize the last remaining border crossing in northern Syria for international humanitarian aid, a new report from PHR provides stark evidence of a massively deteriorated health system caused by […]

December 15, 2021
Attacks on Health Care
Press Release

New Report Details Syrian Government’s Early Targeted Detentions, Forced Disappearances, and Killings of Health Care Workers

Health care workers in Syria were significantly more likely to be detained, die in detention facilities, or be forcibly disappeared if they had provided medical care to injured protesters compared to health care workers arrested for political reasons, a report from Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) published today found. The findings underscore a government strategy […]

November 10, 2021
Attacks on Health Care

Case Study

“No Place Is Safe for Health Care”: The Attack on Syria’s al-Atareb Hospital is a Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) Case Study Overview On March 21, 2021, three artillery strikes hit al-Atareb hospital in the western countryside of Aleppo governorate. The missiles directly hit the hospital’s entrance and destroyed […]

July 15, 2021
Press Release

“Shameful Compromise” at UN Security Council on Syria Cross-Border Aid: PHR

In response to today’s UN Security Council vote on cross-border aid to Syria, the following statement is attributable to Susannah Sirkin, director of policy at Physicians for Human Rights: “The United Nations Security Council has reached a shameful compromise to allow just one international border crossing for lifesaving aid to the besieged people of Syria. […]

July 9, 2021
Attacks on Health Care

Protecting the Right to Health in Syria

Syria remains one of the world’s most complex humanitarian emergencies. Ten years of violence have resulted in more than 500,000 casualties, triggered one of the worst displacement crises of our time, and led to the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure. Homes, schools, and health facilities have not been spared, and people have been deprived of […]

July 8, 2021
Attacks on Health Care, Persecution of Health Workers

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