Sahr is CIVIC’s Director of MENA and South Asia. She has worked for over a decade in the fields of armed conflict, human rights, and counterterrorism in Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Syria. Prior to joining CIVIC, Sahr was a consultant with Human Rights Watch working on South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Just how many civilians have died in the West’s campaign against ISIS?

But unmentioned in all the the stories of military triumphs is a problem that Western officials behind the campaign to defeat the Islamic State tend to downplay: civilian casualties… …Sahr Muhammedally, senior program manager for the Middle East Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), a nongovernmental agency that works to prevent civilian casualties, says that…

IRIN | Is the Saudi war on Yemen legal?

On Monday, a coalition airstrike allegedly struck a camp for displaced Yemenis. Human Rights Watch said the attack “heightened concerns” that Saudi Arabia and its partners were not sufficiently protecting civilians.“The policy needs to come from the top – from Saudi political and military leadership – that protecting civilians is a priority. That then stretches down the chain of command,”…

Civilian War Victims Receive Recognition in US Law

By Sahr Muhammedally   When the US military was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, it had no plan for addressing civilian casualties despite following rules prohibiting disproportionate or deliberate attacks on civilians. Eventually, commanders in those theaters recognized they needed to change course, by acknowledging, investigating, and offering assistance to those harmed through ex-gratia monetary…

Assisting Syrian War Victims

Today representatives of Syrian civil society released the “Syrian Transition Roadmap.”This 238-page document presents plans for constitutional, judicial, political, and security sector reforms, and transitional justice goals, including prosecutions for crimes and compensation to victims. The roadmap rightly advocates for compensation both moral (apologies and memorials) and physical (money or material goods) for harm suffered…

A Check on Lethal Aid to Syria

This week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the Syria Transition Support Act, authorizing arming and training vetted Syrian rebels. Across the Atlantic, the United Kingdom and France are similarly pressing the European Union to lift the arms embargo for Syria. Donor governments, however, need to ensure this “lethal” aid does not pose more risk…

Help for Civilians Harmed in America’s Drone Wars

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post. A decade after weaponized drones were first used in counterterrorism operations in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen the US Senate Judiciary Committee had its first hearing on April 23 questioning the legality of the targeting killing program including who is being killed and where. Senator Durbin also asked, “What moral…