Sentencing without trial in Syria
The Executive Committee of the Democratic Union Party – PYD raises concerns about Seydou Rashid Ali, born in 1973 in the village Jabiliya near Afrin, who was arrested in Qamishli on 3 January 2009. He was sentenced by the Court to six years in prison, on the papers, in his absence and without representation. The prison authorities have informed him and his fellow detainees that this practice of sentencing without trial will be used in future.
The Executive Committee of Democratic Union Party – PYD commits to the absolute line of peaceful resistance, and calls the Red Cross to intervene as a matter of urgency to inspect the health of these political activist detainees and to treat provide them with appropriate medical treatment.
Executive Committee of the Democratic Union Party – PYD calls also for international condemnation of the practices of the Syrian authorities in regard to their treatment of prisoners and the conditions in which they are kept. We call for an escalation in pressure applied on the Syrian Government to release political prisoners, to abolish martial law, and to lift the State of Emergency. The Syrian Constitution needs to be changed so that basic rights for Kurdish people are clearly identified, for example to the use of our Kurdish language and expressions of our culture.
Executive Committee of the Democratic Union Party – PYD
25 December 2009
We at International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS are extremely concerned about reports that Kurds who have been detained for non-violent political activism in Syria may be sentenced by a Court in their absence and without legal representation. We have written many times about unfair and unjust trials, and disproportionate sentencing in the Syrian court system, and this is just an extension of these practices.
This was reported by Amnesty International recently: Amnesty International called for Syria’s Supreme State Security Court (SSSC) to be abolished as the trial of five members of the Kurdish minority resumed on Tuesday.
“The trial is likely to be a parody of justice as the SSSC has shown itself to be grossly unsatisfactory as a court of law,” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. “It is neither independent nor impartial and it does not operate in accordance with international standards of fair trial. It should be abolished without further ado.”
It may be more honest for the authorities to declare their intentions to sentence without trial, but the international community cannot simply ignore this flagrant trangression against the basic rights of Kurdish detainees.