In early December, I conducted a telephone interview with Sarah Leah Whitson, the director of the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW), on the Syrian crisis. HRW monitors and highlights human rights abuses worldwide, and has been documenting the plight of refugees since the outbreak of violence in Syria in March 2011.
In this interview, Whitson talks about how the international community, and particularly neighboring countries where “the streets…are littered with child beggars,” are coping with the refugee crisis.
Whitson also discusses the plight of Syria’s minorities—including Armenians—whose very existence in the country is under threat. “We know that the Armenian community in Iraq was completely destroyed,” she said. “It’s not clear how much longer the Armenian community in Aleppo can withstand or can survive.”
The interview also covers the makeup of the opposition groups; the spillover into neighboring countries; the urgency of referring Syria’s case to the International Criminal Court (ICC); and HRW’s work in Syria.
Real is so depressing, but I will endure.