To our esteemed and valued fellow human rights defenders,
Since 1988, the Diyarbakir Branch of the Human Rights Association has stood with those who have faced religious, linguistic, ethnic, class, and sexual discrimination, supported those who have had their fundamental rights and liberties violated, worked to provide victims with legal support, reported on violations, and striven to inform public opinon about these matters. Read more
A report has reached us from Yeliki Media that a ship has sunk carrying asylum seekers from Izmir, Turkey to Greece causing the death of dozens of people, including five children and young people from Deyrik town in the Hassaka region in Kurdistan of Syria.
The children are the sons of Mohsen Khalaf Jarro:
- Ali Mohsen Khalaf Jarro, nine years old
- Salah Mohsen Khalaf Jarro, six years old.
The other three are young people from one family, the sons of Abdul Rahman Rammo:
- Mohammed, Abdel-Rahman and Diyala aged between 18 and 22 years.
The final number of victims who were on board this ship when it sank is not currently available, but the number of Kurds from Syria who died in this tragic incident is likely to rise.
These children died escaping from the persecution of Kurds in Syria. Families are becoming desperate due to an increased clampdown on all Kurds by the authorities:
- the decline in the construction industry in the Kurdish area as a result of Decree 49;
- the wasted agriculture in the Kurdish area due to a combination of drought from lack of rain and the withholding of water to the area by Turkey;
- the continued policy of denying 400,000 Kurds their rights to citizenship which leaves them stateless;
- stateless people cannot move around the country, nor can they leave the country legally;
- stateless children are denied the right to education;
- people are being arbitrarily detained without trial.
Kurds are being forced from their ancient homelands. Many go to the cities, but others try to leave illegally because they have no choice … and children are dying.
International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS
26 October 2009
These people are:
Mahmoud Subhi Shekho born 1973 – Kobani town
Mahmoud Ahmed Khashman born 1961 Kobani town
Mustafa Ibrahim Ali – Kobani town
The reason for their arrest, and their whereabouts are still unknown seven weeks later.
It is known that Political Security forces have arrested many Kurds in recent years, in contravention of the Constitution of Syria. The State of Emergency is being used to justify arbitrary arrests and indefinite detention.
International Support for Kurds in Syria Association – SKS stands together with those who are calling for these people to be either charged or released, and for the State of Emergency to be lifted.
International Support for Kurds in Syria Association – SKS
26 October 2009
On 5 October 2009 a young Kurdish man, Kefkhesh Yassin Adnan, was sentenced to three months in prison and a fine of 100 Syrian pounds for inciting sectarianism – because he was wearing a necklace ‘suspected of being similar to the Kurdish flag’, according to Kurdish Committee for Human Rights – al-Rasd/Monitor at http://kurdchr.com
Bahjat Mohammed Ali Baki, a man in his fifties who was married in Amouda town was arrested by Political Security on 20 October 2009. He has been called in several times this year to talk with Political Security according to his family.
Manal Ibrahim Ibrahim, born in Qamishli in 1981 was arrested on 15 October 2009 by Political Security forces. She has been active in the women’s movement Setar. Read more
Syria has been affected by drought since 2006. While the 2007-2008 drought was very severe and had a wider geographical reach, the current drought has again affected a population that was already suffering from the impacts of previous drought spells. According to the Government of Syria and UN assessment missions, some 1.3 million inhabitants of eastern Syria have been affected by this disaster, out of which 803,000 have lost almost all of their livelihoods and face extreme hardship. According to the UN Needs Assessment Mission, up to 80% of those severely affected live on a diet consisting of bread and sugared tea, which only covers on average some 50% of both caloric and protein requirements. These families are not able to sustain or restore their livelihood without emergency support including food aid, farming inputs, and animal feeds, supplemented by other types of assistance.
One of the most visible effects of the drought is a dramatic increase in the already substantial migration out of the affected areas during the last year, due to loss of livelihoods and lack of income to buy food. Migration figures range from 40,000 – 60,000 families. 36,000 families have reportedly migrated from Hassakeh Governorate alone. This dramatic move often does not save the families from destitution: even in the areas where they have temporarily settled, migrants still face hardship and poverty. Communities inhabiting the drought-affected areas suffer from an acute shortage of water as many wells and rivers have dried up. Poor nutrition, heat, and dust storms have a detrimental effect on their health status. Very high levels of school drop-outs have been registered in the area, as children have migrated with their families or are required to contribute to the family income by working. Read more
On Wednesday 21/10/2009 Mr. Ibrahim Burro, member of the Political Committee, Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, was sentenced to one year in prison which was then reduced to eight months, according to the barrister Mr. Mahmoud Omar, Member of the Board of MAF Human Rights Organisation in Syria. Mr. Ibrahim Burro was invited by State Security Intelligence on 29.4.2009 under the pretext of a discussion about a brother in Europe. He does not have a brother in Europe. He was questioned for three days and was then accused of belonging to a ‘secret organisation’, which is punishable under Article 288 of Syrian Penal Code.
We in International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS – call for Mr. Ibrahim Burro’s immediate release, and for the abolition of laws that have made his arrest possible. Syria has been under Emergency Law for more than 45 years, and this has allowed the Government to arrest and detain people arbitrarily. This Emergency Law stands in the way of justice. Kurds in Syria have the right to speak out against injustice, and to do this through organised peaceful political and humanitarian groups. This is recognised as a basic human right.
The Kurdistan Workers Party members were charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation. The PKK is banned in Turkey.
But the judge ruled that they should not be held in custody as they had returned of their own free will.
Others from the group who entered Turkey on Monday were released earlier.
The group was made up of both PKK fighters from their stronghold in Iraq’s Qandil mountains, and refugees from the Makhmour camp south of Mosul. Read more
Three groups of people from the PKK are entering Turkey today at Silopi, on the border with Iraq, to meet with the Co-Chair of DTP, Ahmed Turk and then to speak with officials in Turkey to demonstrate their intention to move the peace process forward for Kurds in Turkey. This is at the request of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan from his prison in Turkey, where he has been held since 1999. He has been constructing a road map as a way forward for all nations in the Middle East to live together in democratic co-operation. Read more
While Kurds in Iraq move towards more independence and those in Turkey are guaranteed greater political and cultural rights, their brethren in Syria have been subjected to more and more repression, activists and analysts say.
In the past year and a half, the Syrian authorities have been arresting more and more Kurdish activists, including prominent personalities, and sentencing some to long prison terms, they say. Read more
BERLIN, Germany, — The Consulate of Turkey in Berlin refused to give a two years Kurdish child, a Turkish passport, because it does not want to recognize his first Kurdish name which is recorded in German birth certificate.
The spokesperson of the Turkish Diaspora in Berlin said that the Embassy refuses to give the child the Turkish Nationality because of the insistence of his parents to give him a Kurdish name.
The letters X, Q and W cannot be found in Turkish alphabet since they were banned by Kamal Ataturk,www.ekurd.netthe Founder of the Modern Turkey when writing of the Turkish Language in Latin letters was adopted in the twenties of the last century and the name of the Kurdish child includes two of the aforementioned letters and are considered non- Turks in Turkey. Read more