Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

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Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR)
Arabic: المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Logo.jpg
The logo of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
Founded May 2006 (2006-05)
Founder Osama Suleiman (Rami Abdulrahman)
Type NGO
Legal status Non profit
Focus Human rights activism
Official language
Arabic, English
Owner Osama Suleiman (Rami Abdulrahman)
One man (Osama Suleiman)[1][2]

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (also known as SOHR; Arabic: المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان‎), founded in May 2006, is a UK-based information office whose stated aim is to document alleged human rights abuses in Syria; it has focused since 2011 on the Syrian Civil War. It is frequently quoted by major Western news media, such as Voice of America, Reuters, BBC, CNN and National Public Radio, since the beginning of the uprising about daily numbers of deaths from all sides in the conflict[3][4] and civilians killed in airstrikes in Syria.[5] SOHR has been described as being "pro-opposition"[6][7][8][9] and anti-Assad.[10][11]


The organisation is run by Rami Abdulrahman (sometimes referred to as Rami Abdul Rahman), from his home in Coventry.[12] He is a Syrian Sunni Muslim who owns a clothes shop. Born Osama Suleiman, he adopted a pseudonym during his years of activism in Syria and has used it publicly ever since.[12] After being imprisoned three times in Syria, Abdulrahman fled to the United Kingdom fearing a fourth jail term and has not returned.[5]

In a December 2011 interview with Reuters, Abdulrahman claimed the observatory has a network of more than 200 people and that six of his sources had been killed.[5] In 2012, Süddeutsche Zeitung described the organisation as a one-man-operation with a single permanent worker, Rami Abdulrahman.[13] In April 2013, the New York Times described him as being on the phone all day everyday with contacts in Syria, relying on four men inside the country who collate information from more than 230 activists, while cross-checking all information with sources himself.[12]


The United Nations and some newspapers and nongovernmental organisations state that SOHR is an accurate source. Neil Sammonds, a British researcher for the London-based Amnesty International, said, "Generally, the information on the killings of civilians is very good, definitely one of the best, including the details on the conditions in which people were supposedly killed."[12]

SOHR has been described as being "pro-opposition"[6][7][8][9] or anti-Assad[10][11] and has been criticised for refusing to share its data or methodology.[14]

See also


  1. ^ London, Jonas Schaible (2012-11-26). "Ominöse Protokollanten des Todes". (in German). ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 2017-12-11. 
  2. ^ MacFarquhar, Neil (2013-04-09). "Rami Abdul Rahman's Syrian Observatory for Human Rights". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-11. 
  3. ^ "26 civilians killed in Syria on Friday: Observatory". The Asian Age. 18 February 2012. Archived from the original on 11 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights". Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Abbas, Mohammed; Golovnina, Maria (editing) (8 December 2011). "Coventry – an unlikely home to prominent Syria activist". Reuters. Archived from the original on 11 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Report: Almost 6,000 Dead in Syria During Geneva Talks". TIME Magazine. 17 February 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Syrian civil war: Jabhat al-Nusra's massacre of Druze villagers shows they're just as nasty as Isis". Independent. 13 June 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Syrian opposition group accuses rebel unit of torture". Reuters. 9 April 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Syrian rebels 'killed in army ambush near Damascus'". BBC. 7 August 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "ISIL fights Syrian rebels near Aleppo as army prepares assault". 
  11. ^ a b Reuters (16 March 2014). "Syrian Forces Take Last Rebel Stronghold on Lebanese Border" – via Haaretz. 
  12. ^ a b c d "A Very Busy Man Behind the Syrian Civil War's Casualty Count". New York Times. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  13. ^ London, Jonas Schaible (1 November 2012). "Syrische Beobachtungsstelle für Menschenrechte: Ominöse Protokollanten des Todes". Retrieved 24 November 2016 – via 
  14. ^ [1]

External links

  • Official website
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