The Iranian Judiciary should immediately halt any planned execution of Sherko (Bahman) Moarefi and rescind his death sentence, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch believes that Moarefi, currently being held at Saqez prison in Kurdistan province, may be at imminent risk of execution.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the authorities have set May 1, 2011, as the date for Moarefi’s execution, following a death sentence imposed in 2009 for belonging to a banned Kurdish separatist group, but his lawyers have been unable to get official word of the date. On April 28, Moarefi began a hunger strike in Saqez prison in order to protest his “vague and unclear” legal status, according to several Iranian human rights groups. Read more
11pm: The Syrian-Kurdish website Sûriya Nû is reporting that security forces have raided the homes of many Kurdish citizens in the town of Amûde, located just west of Qamishlo. At around 6pm GMT telephone lines were cut to Amûde, Qamishlo and Derbasiyya. The news site Soparo also reported that all lines of communication had been cut to the area.
Some of those arrested include:
- Anwar al-Kurdi Nasau (artist, activist, and former detainee)
- Abdullah ‘Awjah (engineer and activist)
- Kendal Rashid Kurd
- Fahad Hassan Xani
Many other have been detained but their names are not known at this point. Read more
29 April 2011 – The United Nations Human Rights Council today voted for a mission to be sent to Syria to investigate alleged violations of international human rights law and crimes committed against civilians in the Middle East country, where hundreds of people have been killed during weeks of unrest.
Condemning the use of deadly violence against peaceful demonstrators and the “hindrance of access to medical treatment,” the Council urged the Syrian Government to protect civilians and respect fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression and assembly. Read more
Bashar al-Assad is the President of Syria with fiull power, arising from the Constitution. His brother, Maher al-Assad is portrayed on the media as being a dangerous bully and there are suggestions that Bashar al-Assad is not in control of the situation in Syria. We consider this to be a dangerous distraction – he has the power and he exercises it, ruthlessly. He is accountable for what happens in Syria.
A relaxed Maher al-Assad has been video’ed taking pictures of body parts in Sednaya Prison, and he heads up the army’s Fourth Division that has been in the news recently in relation to their assault on the people of Daraa. Read more
According to Amnesty International reports, 400 people were executed in 2010. Among those executed there as well women, men, children and adolescents. Executions have increased significantly in recent times because of rebellions against the totalitarian regimes in North Africa and Arab countries. The repression against the civilian population has reached an unacceptable level.
Arrests, torture, rapes, kidnappings and killings have become part of everyday life. Particularly affected is the Kurdish population that has become an easy target for the state. We monitor the evolution of Iran and western Kurdistan with great concern. Read more
Amnesty International has submitted the following statement to the sixteenth special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.
For six weeks the Syrian government has been violently repressing pro-democracy protests that have been taking place throughout the country. This follows a long history of repression which has seen the arbitrary arrest, detention and imprisonment of peaceful government critics and advocates of reform, including for Kurdish minority rights, torture and other ill-treatment of detainees and prisoners on a wide-spread and systematic scale, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances. All these human rights violations are being committed with impunity. Read more
Syrian Ambassador: Attendance at the Royal Wedding
A Foreign Office spokesperson said:
“Representatives of countries with which the UK has normal diplomatic relations have been invited to the wedding. An invitation does not mean endorsement or approval of the behaviour of any government, simply that we have normal diplomatic relations with that country. In the light of this week’s attacks against civilians by the Syrian security forces, which we have condemned, the Foreign Secretary has decided that the presence of the Syrian Ambassador at the Royal Wedding would be unacceptable and that he should not attend. Buckingham Palace shares the view of the Foreign Office that it is not considered appropriate for the Syrian Ambassador to attend the wedding.”
Press Release: Thursday 28th April 2011
SUMMARY 28/4/2011: The siege of Daraa continued for 4th day: no electricity, no water, no food and snipers and death everywhere. Even a parliamentarian who tried to reach Daraa today came under attack by secuirty forces and had to turn back. Many other cities are suffering too. But still Syrians around the world are determined not to forget the more than 500 martyrs and not to give up their demands. Read more
The UN Security Council must refer the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Amnesty International said today, amid escalating government violence against protesters calling for reform.
The call comes as the Security Council considers its response to the brutal crackdown that has left some 400 people dead since mid-March.
“The Syrian government is clearly trying to shatter the will of those peacefully expressing dissent by shelling them, firing on them and locking them up,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General. Read more