In the context of the UPR, Amnesty International has made the following recommendations to Syria

State of emergency legislation:
  • To formally lift the state of emergency as soon as possible, as called for by the UN Human Rights Committee in 2001;
  • To abolish legislative provisions which grant state officials immunity from prosecution for offences they commit while carrying out their duties, such as Article 16 of Legislative Decree No. 14 of 1969 and Legislative Decree No. 69 of 2008.

  • Legislation regarding women and sexual orientation:
  • To repeal all provisions in the Personal Status Law and other legislation governing family affairs which discriminate against women, particularly in relation to marriage, divorce and inheritance;
  • To amend articles in the Penal Code so that punishments for gender-based violence match the seriousness of the crime;
  • To abolish Article 520 of the Penal Code so as not to discriminate against anybody on the basis of their sexual orientation or identity.

  • Legislation regarding the Kurdish minority:
  • To end the prohibitions on the use of the Kurdish language in education, the workplace, official establishments and at private celebrations, and to allow children to be registered with Kurdish names and businesses to carry Kurdish names;
  • To amend legislation on nationality to find an expeditious solution to the statelessness of Syrian-born Kurds, as recommended by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 1999 and by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2003, and to put an end to all related discrimination against stateless Kurds, including in the fields of education, health care, freedom of movement, employment and property ownership.

  • Freedom of expression and association:
  • To release all prisoners of conscience;
  • To amend the legislation under which prisoners of conscience have been imprisoned to bring it in line with international human rights law, in particular Articles 18-22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Syria has been a party since 1969, guaranteeing the rights to freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and association.

  • Unfair trials:
  • To undertake reforms of the justice system, in particular to ensure that all court procedures comply with international standards for fair trial.

  • Torture and other ill-treatment:
  • To review legislation and practices to ensure full compliance with the requirements of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which Syria acceded in August 2004;
  • To officially and publicly condemn torture, to make incommunicado detention illegal, to establish an independent body to promptly and impartially investigate all complaints and reports of torture and other ill-treatment, to prosecute alleged perpetrators, and to prohibit the use of statements and other evidence extracted under torture as evidence in court.

  • The death penalty:
  • To impose an immediate moratorium on executions, as a first step towards abolition of the death penalty.


    Syria: Amnesty International's submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

    Other Amnesty International documents on Syria