Thursday, November 19, 2009

Berzani Karro has been tortured in detention in Syria

SKSSKS can report that Berzani was deported from Cyrpus on 26 June 2009 and he disappeared for three months in the Political Security system, al-Fayha Department, Damascus. At that time his family asked everywhere for news of him, but the authorities denied that they had him.

His family found out where he was on 26 September 2009 when Berzani was produced in the court of military prosecution – Mahkamet al-Nieyaba al-Askeriya – in Damascus. Berzani called his family at that time. He was then taken to Adra Prison in Damascus and the family saw him there.

He said that he had been beaten a lot in detention and they used electricity on him, until he made a confession about political activity.

He was in the military justice court – al-Qadaa al-Askeriya – on 10 November 2009 where he was accused of trying to partition off a part of Syria. He is also accused of belonging to a secret organisation, but there is no verdict in his case yet. It is common knowledge that many Kurds are found guilty of this accusation, and that these people have been given heavy sentences.

It is important that the eyes of the world stay on this young man.

Here is the original report from Amnesty international:

Amnesty International


A Syrian Kurdish man has been forcibly returned to Syria from Cyprus. He was detained on arrival, and has not been seen since: he has been subjected to enforced disappearance and is in grave danger of torture.

Berzani Karro, who is 20, is now known to have been arrested at Damascus airport on 27 June. His father has since made numerous inquiries with the Syrian authorities about his son’s fate and whereabouts, including at a number of detention centres and prisons around the country, but they have denied holding him in their custody. One State Security officer in thepredominantly Kurdish north-eastern town where he lives, Amouda, told his father that his family name alone was enough to have led to him being arrested: an uncle with the same family name is a prominent member of the outlawed Kurdish Left Party of Syria (al-Hizb al-Yasari al-Kurdi fi Suria), and now lives in exile in Sweden.

Berzani Karro had left Syria in October 2006 and travelled to Cyprus, where he applied for asylum. His application was rejected and he was arrested in September 2008, on the grounds that he had no legal right to remain in the country. He was detained in Larnaca prison until he was returned to Syria. Cypriot officials escorted him on the plane, and handed him over to the Syrian authorities at Damascus airport. They first allowed him to make one phone call to his family, in which he told them he was about to be taken to the al-Fayha Political Security Branch in Damascus. Political Security is one of several branches of the security forces operating in Syria, all of which regularly detain inidividuals on even the slightest suspicion of opposition to the regime. Kurds in Syria are particularly vulnerable to prolonged arbitrary detention as well as torture and other ill-treatment.

Berzani Karro had been arrested in Amouda on 15 January 2005, when he was 15. He was held for around two and a half months, for at least some of the time in the Military Intelligence-run Palestine Branch detention centre, where detainees are regularly tortured. He was accused of attending an unauthorized demonstration and destroying state property, including a statue of the president. His family say he was at home at the time of the protest. At the Palestine Branch, he was subjected to the dulab (the tyre), whereby he was forced through a car tyre suspended from the ceiling and beaten. There were 10 others detained with him, all of them under 18.