Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wake-up call for the international community


There is further information from the Media Institute of the Federation of Western Kurdistan Society:

We reported that on 16th April 2010, Hediya Eli Yusef, an activist in the ‘Sittar’ Women’s Federation. was arrested with others in Hasse village . This was the same time and place as the other report of intelligence security forces storming mourners in Hassei village


Some of those who were arrested are injured.

A women tried to help one of the young people who had been wounded by the security forces, but she was beaten on the head by the security forces. Her nose and her rib were also broken. Mohamed Ibrahim Sheikh Khalil was shot in his stomach. The houses locally were raided to intimidate the local people.


International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS wishes to bring this incident to the attention of the European Union, United Nations and UK Government. We reported the shooting in al-Raqqa on 21 March 2010 where one person (originally thought to be three people) was killed by security forces who fired randomly into the crowd, injuring many and arresting over a hundred of those present. There was a lot of secrecy by the authorities following the incident that made it difficult to access accurate information. The events at Hassei village are a repetition of this tactic by the authorities for the second time in a month.

SKS is very concerned that the authorities are deliberately setting out to use live bullets, weapons, open assault and intimidation in a flagrant abuse of their power against the Kurdish people at this time, under the rules of the ‘State of Emergency’ and ‘martial law’ which are said to exist because of a threat from Israel:

The Syrian Arab Republic, which is a founder member of the United Nations, has been subjected by Israel to the actual threat of war since 1948. Sometimes, this threat has reached the stage of an attack against Syrian territory, airspace and territorial waters. (Report of the Syrian Arab Republic to UN Committee against Torture 2009, para 111, accessed at

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO] Human Rights report published in March 2010 makes reference in the introduction to:

… arbitrary arrests, intimidation, torture, travel bans, lack of freedom of expression, and lack of respect for the rights of the Kurdish minority….’

The FCO also draws particular attention to the abusive and deteriorating situation for the Kurdish population as a whole:

The Foreign Secretary has publicly reiterated the UK’s concerns in Parliament, making clear that “the UK is particularly concerned with the deterioration in the situation for opposition politicians and Syria’s Kurdish population, and the restrictions of basic civil rights and freedom of the media”.

The UN Committee is currently considering Syria’s adherence to the Convention against Torture and significant reports have been submitted as evidence that in Syria, inhuman and degrading treatment, and torture is used against the Kurds.

We suggest that the Syrian authorities are growing in confidence in using these measures against the Kurds because they have no respect for their life, whilst at the same time the international community is planning tourism and business plans with the Syrian Government, because they see Syria as being a lucrative part of the global economy, and a valuable player in finding a solution to the Middle East ‘problem’.

Kurds are the largest minority ethnic group in Syria, there being an estimated 3 million of us. We feel as though we are a pawn in everyone else’s game rather than as a people who have rights as identified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We need your support.

We at SKS ask the European Union, United Nations and UK Government what action will be taken in response to the Syrian Government’s continuing and increasing abuse of Kurds.

27 April 2010

© SKS,