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Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Press briefing note on Syria

08 May 2020


Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:  Rupert Colville

Location: Geneva 

Date: 08 May 2020

Subject: Syria

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, expressed serious concerns Friday about continuing human rights violations and abuses and a sharp rise in killings of civilians across Syria, saying "the deteriorating situation is a ticking time-bomb that must not be ignored."

"We are receiving more reports every day of targeted killings and bombings from one end of the country to the other, with many such attacks taking place in populated areas," Bachelet said.

"Various parties to the conflict in Syria, including ISIL, appear to view the global focus on the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to regroup and inflict violence on the population."     

In April, the UN Human Rights Office documented at least 35 civilian deaths due to attacks involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs), compared to seven the previous month. Since the start of March, there have been a total of 33 IED attacks, 26 of which took place in residential neighbourhoods, while seven other attacks hit markets.

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For more information and media requests, please contact: Rupert Colville - + 41 22 917 9767 / [email protected] or Jeremy Laurence - + 41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or Liz Throssell - + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected]  or Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

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