Monday, January 18, 2010

Freemuse: Syria arrests musicians for singing Kurdish


Damascus - Seven men, including members of a wedding music band, were arrested at a Kurdish wedding party where they were singing reports the NGO Freemuse. They are accused of singing patriotic Kurdish songs.

The Kurdish human rights organisation DAD Kurd reported that a patrol to fight crimes of the Syrian security forces dissolved a Kurdish wedding party in the district of Dyrek and Alhasaka on 3 October 2009. Members of the music band and the brother of the groom were arrested and deported to a prison in the city of Qamishlo.

Freemuse has received a report saying that they were tortured and insulted by state security officers in Qamishlo. As a result of the torture, a number of the artists are reported to be in need of medical attention. The musician Jamal Sadoun is has a number of injuries to parts of his body, including his feet.

On 17 January 2010, the individual military judge in Qamishli in court case number 869 of 2010, the detainees were questioned about the charges brought against them – that they sought to incite sectarian strife – and they pleaded not guilty.

The detainees were musician Jamal Sadoun, Nihad Hussain, Djawar Munir Abdullah, Juan Munir Abdullah, Hosan Ibrahim, Zahid Youssef, Abdel Latif Malaki Jacob, owner of the restaurant where the party took place.

The judge adjourned the trial to 17 March 2010 to allow the defence to prepare the case. Hosan Ibrahim, Zahid Youssef and Abdel Latif Malaki Jacob were released, however the others remain in detention.

Freemuse is an independent international organisation which advocates freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide (Photo: Rudaw)

© Rudaw / freemuse