Saturday, December 12, 2009

Kurdish conscript Khalil Bozan Sheikh Muslim is one of the new victims of killings in mysterious circumstances in the Syrian army

According to the Kurdish organization for the Defence of Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria – DAD, the family of conscript Khalil Bozan Sheikh Muslim were handed their son’s body on Tuesday 8 December 2009. The family lives in Kobani town in the Kurdish region in Syria that falls into the province of Aleppo. He served in the military Faculty of Engineering which is stationed in the governorate of Lattakia, and had been serving for only four months when, according to the Syrian authorities, he committed suicide with a fatal bullet to the head.

The source also reported that Khalil Bozan Sheikh Muslim had told his family one day before his death that he was under significant pressure, and was being subjected to ill-treatment by his superiors. He asked his family to help him find a way to change the place he was serving.

According to the same source, disclosure of the victim’s body showed that there had been two shots in the head, and this raises serious doubts about the credibility of the official version. This is not the first time we have heard of conscripts dying in suspicious circumstances.

Abdul Karim Rehawi, a human rights activist, President of the Syrian Defence of Human Rights Association said in his statement to Syrian Observatory of Human Rights in UK that there should be an immediate investigation into the death of this young man.

Khalil Bozan’s death brings the number of deaths amongst conscripts to thirty-three, since the uprising on 12 March 2004, of which sixteen died this year in similarly mysterious circumstances:

Mohammed Bakker Sheikh Dadda

Barkhoddan Khalid Hammo

Ahmad Saadoon

Khabat Sheikhmous

Ahmed Abdulrahman Khalil

Malik Akash Shaabo

Mohammed Omar Khedir

Mahmood Mohammed Helli

Hokar Rasul Hesso

Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim

Ahmed Arif Omar

Suleyman Farrokh Diko

Firas Badri Habib

Rezan Abdulkarim Meeranah

Saddiq Hosein Mussa

and Khalil Bozan makes sixteen.

International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS asks that the international community takes account of these killings, and note that there has been a significant increase in the number of deaths recently. This is indicative of the deteriorating situation for Kurds in the army, and in Syria generally, and should be considered alongside the other abuses of Kurds brought to attention by Human Rights Watch and other human rights organisations, both inside and outside Syria.


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