July 19, 2010, 4:13 p.m.
After the death of his father in 2000, Bashar al-Asad assumed the presidency of Syria with promises of improving his nation's human rights record. Unfortunately, one decade later, Syrians suffer from the same repressive conditions that personified the previous regime. Human Rights Watch has released a report, which details al-Asad's appalling record on human rights.
Syria's security agencies, the feared mukhabarat, detain people without arrest warrants and torture with complete impunity. Two years after prison authorities and military police used firearms to quell a riot that began on July 5, 2008, at Sednaya prison, Syrian authorities have not revealed the fate of at least 42 detainees, at least nine of whom are believed to have been killed. Censorship is prevalent and extends to popular websites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Blogger.