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Human rights in Syria have been described as "poor". From 1963 until April 2011,the emergency rule had remained in effect which gave security forces sweeping powers of arrest and detention. The country is governed by a one-party state without free elections. The authorities harass and imprison human rights activists and other critics of the government. Freedom of expression, association and assembly are strictly controlled. Women and ethnic minorities face discrimination. According to Human Rights Watch, President Bashar al-Assad failed to improve Syria’s human rights record in the first 10 years of his rule, and by the eleventh (2011), Syria's human rights situation had become one of the worst in the world. According to Amnesty International, the government may be guilty of crimes against humanity based on "witness accounts of deaths in custody, torture and arbitrary detention," during the crackdown against the 2011 uprising. (via DBpedia)