By an IWPR-trained reporter (SB No. 98, 29-Mar-10)
I felt the cool breezes of that beautiful, sunny morning brushing gently against my face. From the back of a pickup truck, I joined hordes of Syrian Kurdish families driving towards a small village not far from the northeastern Syrian town of Qamishli.
Women and children wore colourful, traditional dresses. Some waved Kurdish national flags. We were all longing to celebrate the festival that symbolises the coming of spring and the renewal of life.
On March 21 every year, like Iranians, Kurds celebrate Nowruz, which marks the start of the Persian New Year.
Typically, on this occasion, people set up tents in the country and spend the day dancing, singing, barbecuing and drinking tea.
But for Syrian Kurds, who constitute more than ten per cent of the population, the celebration of Nowruz has sometimes been marred by skirmishes between revellers and security forces. Police patrol the streets in Kurdish cities to confiscate flags and posters. Read more
According to Human Rights Organization in Syria – MAF and the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights based in UK, the Syrian political security forces arrested Mahmoud Safo on 28 March 2010. He is a member of the Political Bureau of the Kurdish Leftist Party in Syria from Deyrik town.
Mohammed Musa, the Secretary of the Party informed the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights based in UK that the political security forces in Malkia summoned Mahmoud Safo on Sunday evening 28 March 2010, and they were informed the next day he had been transferred to the political security branch in Hassaka city.
The Human Rights Organization in Syria – MAF and the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights based in UK call for Mahmoud Safo’s release and the release of all prisoners of conscience in Syria. We call for an end to the State of Emergency and martial law that is used to imprison Kurds who stand up for human rights.
In a court in Diyarbakir on 25 March 2010, the Kurdish singer Rojda Senses was charged with one year and eight months imprisonment for ‘conducting propaganda for a terrorist organisation’ in two separate concerts.
Rojda Senses testified in court in Istanbul on 11 February 2010. She has previously been invited to participate in a breakfast meeting by Prime Minister Erdogan within the framework of the democratic expansion. Even so, she now received her sentence from Diyarbakir’s Special Authority High Criminal Court of one year each for having performed the song ‘Heval Kamuran’ in a concert at the 9th Diyarbakir Culture and Art Festival, as well as in another concert. Read more
Berzani Karro was brought before a military court on 14 March, and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, immediately commuted to two-and-a-half years. He intends to appeal, though such appeals are rarely successful. Read more
Thank you for your message about SKS. I wish to place on record my support for the Kurdish population wherever they may be and for the efforts of the UK Government in seeking to ensure the rights of Kurds everywhere.
Derek Clark MEP
The office of Derek Clark MEP
UK Independence Party
Web – http://www.derekclarkmep.org.uk
We at International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS would like to thank Derek for his support.
Emma McClarkin Member of European Parliament from UK raised a written question on 23 March 2010 to the Commission of the European Parliament following the Newroz shooting at al-Raqqa in Syria. She said she had been following the killing of Kurds in the Kurdish area of Syria and that she would like to know how the Commission envisages that the European Union works together with Syria to take account of these abuses of the basic rights of Kurds.
International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS thanks Emma for her attention to this issue and for bringing this abuse of Kurds in Syria to the attention of the European Parliament.
Syrian Human Rights Committee – MAD reports that on 16 March 2010, Kurdish students at Aleppo University stood in silence for five minutes on the anniversary of the chemical bombing of Halabja by the former regime in Iraq. The security forces arrived and scattered the group after taking some of the group members’ identity cards, so that the security committee of the Ba’ath Party at the University could investigate these people.
Three students were arrested, and their whereabouts remain unknown:
- Hussein Mohammad Ateh, born in 1985 in Kobani, studying French literature at the University of Aleppo;
- Abdul Aziz Mohammed Ateh, a third grade secondary school student was on a visit to his brother Hussein above.
- Furman Hussein was born in Kobani in 1990, a student in the Faculty of Education classroom teacher
MAD has also learned that on the eve of Newroz, Mostafa Osman Mohamed from the village of Qalhabin in the province of Aleppo, a student at the Institute of Medicine, was arrested and when he appeared in Court the decision was made to continue his detention. Read more
In the past 3 months, violations of human rights has increased more than ever in Kurdistan. Arrests, prosecutions, imprisonments, unjust executions and executions of political prisoners have been common practice by the Iranian regime. There have also been numerous reports on suspicious deaths of political prisoners, contributing to the systematic and continuous violations of human rights that exist to this day in Kurdistan.
According to Kurdestan-o Kurd News Agency, this past winter, at least 25 people in Kurdistan lost their lives due to the violation of human rights by the government. 21 of these cases were reported to be of people that lived and owned trading businesses at the border.
This report also clarifies that the execution of Kurdish political prisoner Fasih Yasamani, on January 6, 2010, was ordered in a unofficial and brief trial. Three other Kurdish political prisoners have suspiciously died while serving their time in prison.
Accordingly, 110 Kurdish students that were studying in Kurdistan universities were arrested by the disciplinary police. 22 of them were temporarily suspended from school, while others were permanently expelled. 27 other Kurdish student activists were imprisoned.
This report further demonstrates that 143 other cases of prosecution have been reported. 29 cases were referred to court, where defendants were sentenced from 22 months to 6 years of imprisonment.
It should be mentioned that currently, there are 17 Kurdish political prisoners who are waiting to be executed.
Translation by: Talieh | Persian2English.com
March 25, 2010
Syria’s poor human rights situation deteriorated further in 2009, as the authorities arrested political and human rights activists, censored websites, detained bloggers, and imposed travel bans. No political parties are licensed. Emergency rule, imposed in 1963, remains in effect and Syria’s multiple security agencies continue to detain people without arrest warrants. The Supreme State Security Court (SSSC), an exceptional court with almost no procedural guarantees, resumed trials in March 2009, following an eight-month suspension.
Syria’s repressive policies toward its Kurdish minority continue. Security agencies prevented political and cultural gatherings, and regularly detain and try Kurdish activists demanding increased political rights and recognition of Kurdish culture. Read more
Syria, with a population of approximately 20 million, is a republic under the authoritarian presidential regime of Bashar al-Asad. The president makes key decisions with counsel from a small circle of security advisors, ministers, and senior members of the ruling Ba’ath (Arab Socialist Renaissance) Party. The constitution mandates the primacy of Ba’ath party leaders in state institutions and society. President al-Asad and party leaders, supported by security services, dominated all three branches of government. In 2007 President al-Asad was confirmed for another seven-year term in a “yes or no” referendum that local and international human rights advocates considered neither free nor fair. Civilian authorities maintained effective control of the security forces. Read more