Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two Kurdish men in their 70s and a 10 year old child arrested in Syria for celebrating Eid al-Adha

Kurdish Committee for Human Rights (monitor /al-Rased) and other sources report that three people have been arrested in Deyrik al-Malikiya town on the night of Eid al-Adha:

• Hassan Abdul-Karim

• Ramadan Haji Hassan both in their 70’s,

• and the child, Juan Abdul Salam aged 10

These people live in the village Jallow in the Deyrik region, and were arrested by criminal security forces and were sent immediately to Political Security in Hassaka city.

They were arrested against the background of children enjoying traditional celebrations of Eid al-Adha including lighting fires and singing special songs for this festival.

International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS is calling for the international community, including USA and European Governments to take note of the on-going, frequent, abusive and intimidating behaviour of the authorities in Syria towards Kurds which includes arresting people indiscriminately on behalf of the Government. This is a powerful and controlling method of intimidating and threatening Kurds in their own homelands, using the State of Emergency to excuse these actions in breaking the law.

We endorse the recent report by Human Rights Watch ‘Group Denial’
and-cultural-rights-in-syria/ and their call:

The international community can play a constructive role in promoting the rights of Kurds in Syria. So far, Syria’s crackdown on Kurdish activists has generally gone unnoticed internationally. This lack of interest by international policymakers has many causes, including the remoteness of the areas inhabited by the Syrian Kurds, restrictions imposed by the Syrian authorities, and the international community’s focus on Syria’s role in regional politics. However, ignoring the treatment of Kurds in Syria will not make the problem go away. The international community, in particular the United States and the European Union, which are both currently engaged in substantive talks with the Syrian government, should ensure that human rights concerns, including the treatment of Kurds, are part of their discussions with Syria. 26 November 2009

We want to impress upon the international community that ‘part of their discussions with Syria’ regarding human rights concerns need to hold significant weight in any discussions rather than be a comment in passing.

Co-Chair: International Support Kurds in Syria Association [SKS]