Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

"SOHR" redirects here. For other uses, see SOHR (disambiguation).
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR)
Arabic: المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان

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)

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 that has been documenting human rights abuses in Syria which has focused since 2011 on the Syrian Civil War. It is frequently quoted by major 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[1][2] and civilians killed in airstrikes in Syria.[3]

The news office is run from his home in Coventry by Rami Abdulrahman (sometimes referred to as Rami Abdul Rahman), 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.[4] After being imprisoned three times in Syria, Abdulrahman fled to the United Kingdom fearing a fourth jail term and has not returned since.[3]

In a December 2011 interview with Reuters, Abdulrahman said the observatory has a network of more than 200 people and that six of his sources had been killed.[3] However, in 2012 Süddeutsche Zeitung described the organization as a one-man-operation with a single permanent worker, Rami Abdulrahman.[5] In April 2013, The New York Times described him being on the phone all day every day with contacts in Syria, and checking all information by himself.[4] At high link popularity of the project in the media and the use of numbers of victims in the justification of political decisions at times expressed doubts about the reliability and fairness of the source, which is represented by one person without special training and experience, referring to them undisclosed network of activists in Syria.[6][7]

SOHR has been accused of selective reporting, covering only violent acts of the government forces against the opposition for the first two years of its existence[8] and reporting militant anti government fighters in dead civilians tolls,[9] and has been described as being "pro-opposition".[10][11][12][13]

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is of the opinion that SOHR is a one man operation that acts as a front for spreading anti-governmental messages into western media.[14]

See also


  1. "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.
  2. "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights". Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 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.
  4. 1 2 "A Very Busy Man Behind the Syrian Civil War's Casualty Count". New York Times. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  5. London, Jonas Schaible (1 November 2012). "Syrische Beobachtungsstelle für Menschenrechte: Ominöse Protokollanten des Todes". Retrieved 24 November 2016 via
  6. "На что опираются западные СМИ при освещении событий в Сирии". Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  7. "Сирийский центр мониторинга за соблюдением прав человека: сомнительные хроникеры смерти". Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  8. "Massacres by Islamic extremists bolster Bashar al-Assad". AsiaNews. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  9. "Syria Contextualized: The Numbers Game - Middle East Policy Council". Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  10. "Report: Almost 6,000 Dead in Syria During Geneva Talks". TIME Magazine. 17 February 2014.
  11. "Syrian civil war: Jabhat al-Nusra's massacre of Druze villagers shows they're just as nasty as Isis". Independent. 13 June 2015.
  12. "Syrian opposition group accuses rebel unit of torture". Reuters. 9 April 2013.
  13. "Syrian rebels 'killed in army ambush near Damascus'". BBC. 7 August 2013.
  14. "Syrian President interview with Russian reporter". Kurdistan Insider. 12 October 2016.

External links

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