DAMASCUS (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad said there was no chance the political upheaval shaking Tunisia and Egypt might spread to Syria, which has been controlled by his Baath Party for the last five decades.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Monday, Assad said that Syria’s ruling hierarchy was “very closely linked to the beliefs of the people” and that there was no mass discontent against the state and no need to change policies. Read more
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT 27 January 2011
Amnesty International has called on the Syrian Bar Association to put a stop to disciplinary proceedings against lawyer Radeef Mustafa if, as it appears, they are aimed at obstructing his human rights work and penalizing him for expressing his opinion on sensitive political issues. The next hearing in the proceedings is due to be held on 30 January. Read more
Repression, misfortune and suffering has been a common feature of recent Kurdish history across the Middle Eastern plains but often the plight of the Syrian Kurds has been the most overlooked and forgotten – quite literally in the case of thousands of stateless Kurds.
While Kurds in both Iraq and Turkey may have had more focus under the international spotlight, the struggle and suffering of the Syrian Kurds goes on unabated as we enter a new year.
The new found prominence and strategic standing of the Kurds in Iraq is a major milestone in Kurdish nationalism, with the gains less notable but nevertheless significant in Turkey, where Kurds are slowly enjoying greater cultural freedoms and more state focus.
Amidst a new passage for Kurds in the Middle East, the Syrian Kurds have lagged behind without the same rights and privileges enjoyed by their ethnic brethren across the mountainous borders. Read more
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) was informed on 25 January 2011 that the popular Kurdish folk singer Abdulrahman Omer, born 1951 and known as Bavê Selah, was arrested, in Aleppo. He was born in the predominantly Kurdish area, Afrin in the far north-western part of Syria. At the time of his detention, the Kurdish artist was in bad health, however the Syrian security forces followed their instructions to arrest him without regard to this.
Abdulrahman Omer’s whereabouts are unknown.
It is reported by Syrian Committee for Human Rights – MAD that Delsha Osman Osman, born 1968, was forced to leave the country, traveling to Iraqi Kurdistan with her two children Ronahi, born 1994 and Zagros, born in 2000 after exposure to harassment by the security services, being repeatedly called in for questioning and threatened with arrest. Delsha Osman Osman is a school teacher active in the Sittar Federation Women’s organisation, and the wife of Kurdish politician Fouad Omar who is former President of the Democratic Union Party – PYD. Read more
Syrian Committee for Human Rights – MAD reports that the fate of lawyer Anwar al-Muslim, former candidate for membership of the Syrian parliament and defender of the cases of political prisoners remains unknown. Anwar al-Muslim, born 1976, from Kubani, married father of two children was summoned by the Political Security branch in Aleppo in the morning on Tuesday11 January 2011.
24 January 2011
Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD reports that
- Hassan Saleh
- Muhammad Mustafa
- Ma’rouf Mulla Ahmed
the three leaders of the Kurdish Yekiti Party who have been in detention for more than a year will come to trial before the Supreme State Security Court in Damascus, on 6 February 2011 in case number 69 of 2011.
24 January 2011 Read more
Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD reports that thirteen teachers from the province of Deyrik in Hassaka have been sacked from their jobs at the suggestion of Political Security. Those teachers, all from the Deyrik area are:
- Zahra Khalil Omar – she has been teaching for eighteen years.
- Kawa Hassan Haji from Baneh Qaser village, served for fourteen years.
- Osama Abdel-Rahman Mohammed from Kalihi village, served for eight years.
- Kameran Ali Omar from Ali Gamish, served thirteen years.
- Ahmad Hassan Ahmad from Baneh Qaser, served his fourteen years.
- Faisal Hammoud Ibrahim from Tel Aswad village, served for five years.
- Naima Abdel-Rahman Abdu.
- Farhan Abdullah Ahmad from the village of Tel Jeman, served twenty years.
- Yusuf Ahmed Abdullah from Rehanik village, served thirteen years.
- Rashid Ali Mirza from Mozalan village, served thirteen years.
- Nofah Sabri Youssef, she is from Kharab Rashek village, served five years.
- Dilshad Ahmed Abdullah from Kharab Rashek, served six years.
- Rashid Mohamed Taher from Jera Sor, served thirteen years. Read more
According to Human Rights Organization in Syria – MAF, the poet Ibrahim Barakat al-Ahmad was detained by Hassakeh political security section on Wednesday 19 January 2011. Ibrahim Barakat al-Ahmad is 43 years old, and is married with two children. He had been summoned and interrogated by the authorities in Qamishli several times before his arrest by the security section in Hassaka. There has been no information of his whereabouts since 19 January 2011. Read more
Reuters reports that a delegation of European Parliament members have been banned from attending a trial of Kurdish activists and politicians. This is seen as a test of Ankara’s democratic credentials, a Euro MP said on Friday.
Richard Howitt, a Socialist MEP on a visit to the city of Diyarbakir in the mainly Kurdish southeast, said ten members of a delegation of the Party of European Socialists, including two Members of Parliament were denied access to the trial.
The defendants, accused of illegal activities including ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, have been told they cannot defend themselves using the Kurdish language.
“It is extremely worrying that the one thing we have been able to witness today is a continuing confrontation over the use of the Kurdish language, which has prevented the proper conduct of what are said to be landmark trials,” Howitt said in a statement emailed to Reuters. Read more