Russia’s 2012 crackdown worst since Soviet era , report

Authoritarianism increased last year in Russia to levels unseen since the Soviet era with a raft of harsh laws curbing political freedoms and harassment of opposition activists and critics, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. The crackdown coincided with the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin and the appointment of his predecessor

Syrian regime denies using cluster bombs

Syria denied Monday a report that its forces have been using cluster bombs in its civil war. “The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces stressed on Monday that the misleading media outlets have recently published untrue news claiming the Syrian Arab Army has been using cluster bombs against terrorists,” the government’s term […]

Egypt Court Strikes a Decree Reimposing Martial Law

An administrative court on Tuesday suspended a decree by the military-led government that authorized soldiers to arrest civilians. The court’s action raised the possibility that the judges may also try to roll back other aspects of the generals’ recent expansion of their powers.

Syrian army guilty of ‘war crimes’; HRW

An international human rights group has accused the Syrian military of committing war crimes just before a ceasefire came into effect on 12 April. Human Rights Watch says fighting around Idlib province, in the north, may meet the definition of an “armed conflict”, as laid down by international law.