A number of German media outlets have published passages from the most recent report by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office (AA) on the situation in Syria. Whilst government foreign affairs bodies worldwide usually issue annual reports on ‘the situation in Syria,’ the German government opt to not publish its report, but rather to share copies of it with partner organizations, including the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR). Since we cannot publish or share the report, we will be outlining some of the most important points contained in it, in addition to the related reporting by some German media outlets, including ARD.

The AA’s report primarily draws upon the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (COI), and secondly on SNHR’s data. This year’s report sheds light on many of the forms of violations seen in Syria – most notably extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest, torture, landmines, unexploding landmines, and many others. The report notes that SNHR documented the killing of over 1,000 civilians in 2022, including 250 children. Recently, the report adds, at least nine civilians were killed, and about 30 injured, in Russian airstrikes. In addition, the report reveals that a total of 12,350 incidents related to landmines and unexploded explosives were documented between 2019 and 2022 alone. The report also underscores that arbitrary arrests continue to be carried out, along with torture inside the detention centers of the various parties to the conflict and controlling forces.

The report also sheds light on the worsening economic and humanitarian situation in the wake of the February 6 Earthquake. The report confirms that over 15.3 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance. Additionally, 41 percent of all the country’s hospitals are either wholly out of commission or only functioning partially.

Therefore, the report concludes, no safe return for displaced persons in any part of Syria for any group of people can be ensured, expected, or ascertained. The report offers three main findings:

1. Syria is wholly unsafe for the return of refugees.
2. A safe return to any part of Syria for any group of people cannot be ensured or ascertained.
3. WhiletheremaybesomepartsofSyriawithnohostilitiesandasenseofpubliclife,the broad security situation is still instable, and the humanitarian and economic situation is still dire.

It is worth noting that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) relies on this report as a supporting instrument to inform its decisions on accepting or denying asylum requests, which then extends to the different regional migration offices and administrative courts.

We at SNHR feel we must commend the serious and sincere work done on this report by the AA’s team. We believe the report’s findings to be wholly objective and based on verified facts. We also welcome the position of the German government in refusing to restore relations with the Syrian regime which continues to commit crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Syrian people.

Since 2011, SNHR has been working to document many human rights violations in Syria on a daily basis, enabling us to build a database containing hundreds of thousands of incidents of violations. We rely on our extensive team on the ground who cover the various areas of conflict in Syria. SNHR has used this database to publish periodic and thematic reports on the human rights situation in Syria, and we share our information and data with many foreign affairs ministries worldwide, in order to transmit an objective picture of the magnitude of continuing violations in Syria, particularly extrajudicial killing, arbitrary arrest, torture, enforced disappearance, pillaging of lands and properties, indiscriminate bombardment on residential neighborhoods and vital facilities, forced displacement, and many other violations. We try, to the best of our abilities, to ensure that the violations committed against the Syrian people are widely reported and included in international and UN reports.