Kurdish activist released in Syria
Amnesty International reports that Sabri Mirza, a 60-year-old Kurdish political activist and human rights lawyer, was released on 23 June, following his arrest the previous week in Qamishly, northern Syria.
Sabri Mirza was arrested by local police and handed over to Political Security forces on 13 June. After being held in his home town, Qamishly, until 15 June, he was taken to Damascus, the capital, where he was held incommunicado. From there, he was transported to Dayr al-Zor, northern Syria, for a day and finally moved to a prison in al-Hasakah, also in northern Syria. He was released on 23 June and is now reunited with his family but is required to check in at a local police station every two weeks. In addition, his long-standing travel ban was renewed.
Sabri Mirza’s family believes that he may face trial but Amnesty International has been unable to verify this or whether any charges have been brought against him and is seeking further information on his current legal status. Amnesty International remains concerned that his detention may have been related to his political activism and the senior position he holds within the unauthorized Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria.
Family members have informed Amnesty International that Sabri Mirza did not receive any food for the first 48 hours of his detention. They also said that he was unable to obtain all the medication he requires for the diabetes and heart disease from which he suffers during the last two days of his detention. Apparently as a result, he was hospitalized in Qamishly following his release.
Thanks to all those who took action on behalf of Sabri Mirza. No further appeals from the network are required at present but Amnesty International will continue to monitor the case.
This is the first update of UA 189/11. Further information: http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE24/027/2011/en