The logo of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
|Founder||Osama Suleiman (aka Rami Abdulrahman)|
|Legal status||Non profit|
|Focus||Human rights activism|
|Owner||Osama Suleiman (aka Rami Abdulrahman)|
|One person ("Rami Abdulrahman")|
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (also known as SOHR; Arabic: ?), founded in May 2006, is a United Kingdom-based information office whose stated aim is to document human rights abuses in Syria; since 2011 it has focused on the Syrian Civil War. It is frequently quoted by major news outlets since the beginning of the war about daily numbers of deaths from all sides in the conflict and particularly civilians killed in airstrikes in Syria. The SOHR has been described as being "pro-opposition" and anti-Assad.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is run by "Rami Abdulrahman" (sometimes referred to as Rami Abdul Rahman), from his home in Coventry. Abdulrahman is a Syrian Sunni who owns a clothing shop. Born Osama Suleiman, he adopted a pseudonym during his years of activism in Syria and has used it publicly ever since. After being imprisoned three times in Syria, Abdulrahman fled to the United Kingdom fearing a fourth jail term and has not returned.
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. In 2012, Süddeutsche Zeitung described the organisation as a one-man-operation with Abdulrahman its only permanent member.[verification needed] In April 2013, The New York Times described him as being on the phone all day everyday with contacts in Syria, relying on four individuals inside the country who collate information from more than 230 activists, while cross-checking all information with sources himself.
In 2013 the New York Times reported that Rami Abdulrahman had received small subsidies from the European Union and one European country.Medialens said that journalist Ian Sinclair confirmed "in communication with the Foreign Office" that "the UK funded a project worth £194,769.60 to provide the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights with communications equipment and cameras."
The organisation says on its website that "The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is not associated or linked to any political body."
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."
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