This week, a death stokes xenophobic violence in Moscow, while 2,000 miles away in Damascus, community reporters document a humanitarian crisis escalating around them. These are just two of the many stories we are monitoring through citizen video this week. 


In Moscow’s Biryulyovo district on Sunday, nationalist mobs rioted at a shopping center popular with migrants. According to this report by Voice of Russia Radio, there is great scrutiny of citizen videos like this one, which show men kicking down the mall’s entrance to identify perpetrators of the violence. Tension is high after rumors that a migrant from Caucasus is behind a recent fatal stabbing, and is reminiscent of rallies in Pugachyov this summer calling for the expulsion of Chechens from the region after the murder of a local soldier. 


The Syrian International Media Alliance issued its first in a series of reports about humanitarian crises facing the country, and it could not have been more timely. The report focuses on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh. It documents the killing of more than 1,000 residents, the imprisonment of more than 500, and lack of essential supplies that has led to 11 starvation-related deaths, some documented in this video compiling footage from local hospitals (viewer discretion advised). Just this weekend, a rare ceasefire gave several hundred residents the opportunity to flee the town, an exodus captured in these two citizen videos.

Staying in the region, Human Rights Watch’s latest report on Syria is noteworthy not only for its findings of war crimes committed by opposition groups, but for its extensive use of video. Researchers analyzed approximately 200 videos, and in this video report, they demonstrate how videos taken during the attack by Syria’s opposition groups corroborate the evidence and interviews they gathered in the field the following month. 

This week, we’re also keeping our eyes on: 

Sudan, where activists in the popular uprising continue to protest despite the crackdown of rallies and repression of print and online media. The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha is observed this week, and may reignite the so-called “Sudan Revolts” movement. Click here for the Human Rights Channel’s analysis of verified videos of the protest and violent clashes with authorities.

The most recent citizen videos of human rights issues can always be found on our Citizen Watch and Watching Syria video playlists. Both are updated daily. Catch the latest citizen videos by following the Human Rights Channel on Twitter (@ythumanrights).

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