Kurdish Human Rights Project – Impact Report available at KHRP Impact Report
Estimated Kurdish population:
• 1.7 million
• CAT – ratified, 2004
• ICERD – ratified, 1969
• ICCPR – ratified, 1969
• ICESCR – ratified, 1969
• CRC – ratified 1993 (with reservations)
• CEDAW – acceded 2003
Freedom of expression, assembly & association
In 2009, the arrest and incommunicado detention of Kurds peacefully attempting to promote Kurdish culture, was an ongoing concern. So too were the continued violations of the rights to free expression and association against political activists. Political activity outside of the Ba’ath Party remains illegal and the security forces continued to use their broad powers of arrest and detention against those expressing dissenting views. Read more
UK deeply regrets sentencing of Syrian human rights activist
25 June 2010
Muhannad Al Hassani, a Syrian Human Rights lawyer and winner the 2010 Martin Ennals award for human rights defenders, has been sentenced to three years in jail by the Syrian courts.
Speaking about Muhannad Al Hassani’s case an Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said:
“On Wednesday 23 June Muhannad Al Hassani, a prominent Syrian human rights lawyer and activist, was handed a three year jail sentence by the Syrian courts for “spreading false information likely to weaken the morale of the nation”. The UK deeply regrets this sentence and urges the Syrian government to overturn the decision and release Al Hassani.
We remain seriously concerned about the human rights situation in Syria and call on the Syrian government to fulfil all of its human rights obligations, and allow its citizens to practice the right to freedom of expression without fear of arbitrary arrest, intimidation and imprisonment.”
© UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
The Second Military Prosecutor in the Military Court in Aleppo has charged Mustafa Ismail with making plans and actions aimed at offending Syrian relationships with foreign countries and being member of an illegal organization aiming to divide Syria and join this annex to a new country. The case is number 394-2010, 13 May 2010
As a result of this decision Ismail will stand trial in the Military Court in Aleppo. These offences could be punished with a sentence of one to five years in prison.
The Second Military Prosecutor in the Military Court had rejected all the bail requests submitted by Ismail’s lawyers.
Ismail had already been summoned for interrogation on 10 December 2009, by the air force department of the Syrian secret service in the Kurdish town of Kobani (Arab: Ain al-Arab). He was then told to report to the head-office of the same security department in the north Syrian city of Aleppo. He followed this directive, but did not return. Where the Syrian security forces are holding the Kurdish human rights worker at present is unknown. Read more
On 15 June 2010, the Criminal Military Court in Aleppo sentenced Delsher Khatib Ahmed from Qamishli, and Lawrence Hejar from Amuda town to five years imprisonment under Articles 267/288 of the Penal Code of Syria, which was reduced to two and a half years, on charges of belonging to a political organization that aims to annex part of Syrian territory, and annex it to a foreign country.
Fawaz Mohi al-Din from Amuda was also sentenced to two and a half years in prison for the crime of belonging to a political organization in accordance with Article 267 of the Penal Code of Syria, which was reduced to one year and three months.
Syrian Human Rights Committee – MAD expresses concern at these increasingly harsh sentences, and calls on the authorities for judicial independence and impartiality in resolving matters relating to public affairs. We demand the release of all political detainees and prisoners of conscience, and most notably the Attorney Mustafa Ismail from the city of Kobani who was arrested nearly seven months ago because of his interest in public affairs and human rights and legal status.
Previous report: http://supportkurds.org/news/mustafa-ismail-appears-in-court-in-syria
Syrian Human Rights Committee – MAD, Aleppo
23 June 2010
KHRP is alarmed to hear reports from its local partners that two villages in the Hasankeyf district, the site of the controversial Ilisu Dam project, were yesterday set alight by the Turkish army.
Both the villages of Keçeli (Bizinka) and Palamutlu (Xerbekar) –- villages previously destroyed by the Turkish military in the 1990’s and which stand to be flooded by the Il?su Dam reservoir if construction of the hydro-electric dam goes ahead — were burned. Pictures taken from the north side of the Tigris River show the devastation caused to the villages which although no longer continuously inhabited, are sources of livelihood for local farmers and herders. Read more
Syrian Human Rights Committee – MAD reports that the Syrian authorities have released three political detainees, who have been imprisoned since 17 January 2010:
Sheikh Ahmed Hamou
Mohammed Sheikh Mohammed
Ez al-Din Sheikhi Mustafa
Their release is welcomed. MAD calls for the release of all political prisoners, and the abolition of trials under the State of Emergency.
Syrian Human Rights Committee – MAD, al-Raqqa
22 June 2010
Original report: http://supportkurds.org/news/three-kurds-arrested-in-syria/
The fascist attitude of the Syrian Government towards Kurds has not stopped since the shootings during Newroz at al-Raqqa in March 2010. There are raids in people’s homes in the early hours of the morning that sow the seeds of fear and terror, and the campaign of arbitrary arrests without explanation has been intensified.
Kurdish women did not escape. They are feeling the psychological stress of these practices by intelligence security forces, which fly in the face of human rights. Many women were arrested before these events at al-Raqqa, and they remain in prison with an unknown fate. Read more
According to Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD, Mahmoud Safo who was arrested on 28 March 2010 was sentenced on 20 June 2010 by an individual military judge in Qamishli to one year imprisonment, for inciting racial and sectarian hatred, and for being a leader of a secret unlicensed association. He is a member of the Political Bureau of the Kurdish Left Party.
Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD continues to call for an end to arbitrary detention, and the release of all political prisoners and prisoners of opinion. We want to see democratic freedom and the abolition of the state of emergency and martial law, and respect for international conventions and covenants on human rights, so that the Syrian citizen can live in peace, freedom and tranquility.
Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD, 21 June 2010
The fate of the Kurdish citizen Mustafa Mohammad Ali Khalaf, born 1968 in Kobani has been unknown since his arrest on 3 May 2010 by the Political Security branch in Kobani, during a raid on his house in the middle of the night. The security patrol searched his home and interfered with his personal property, and then took him to an unknown destination.
Mustafa is married and has seven children, and he is the sole breadwinner for his family.
In a related development Subhy Osman Berkul, born in 1965 in Kobani was arrested by Political security branch on 14 February 2010. He was arrested while returning from work at night to his home. No-one has been able to communicate with him since his arrest, and there is no information about the reason for arrest, nor of his whereabouts.
There has been a noticeable increase in the arrests of Kurds in the Kobani area
Media Institute of West Kurdistan Society – Kobani
17 June 2010
According to the Media Institute of West Kurdistan Society, the fate of the Kurdish freedom fighter Ramadan Muslim Ahmed has been unknown since his arrest in 2008. His nickname is Kamal Kobani; he was born in Kobani, Syria in 1981, and his mother is Zuhayda. He was captured as he crossed the Iranian border, when he was seriously injured after the Iranian forces fired at him.
He had an unjust trial and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. He wounds were not dressed and his family were not allowed to see him. His parents have expressed fears for his life.
The family appeals to human rights organizations and the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran to intervene to allow them to visit their son in detention in a Tehran prison. They ask them to ensure that the authorities are providing him with the necessary treatment, and to enable him to ensure proper application of the law so that he can benefit from his legal rights to defend himself in the court.
Media Institute of West Kurdistan Society
16 June 2010