08 September 2010
U.N. Special Rapporteur Olivier de Schutter issued a report examining human rights situation in Syria
An U.N. human rights official says Syria's denial of citizenship to its Kurdish minority is unacceptable.
U.N. Special Rapporteur Olivier de Schutter issued a report examining human rights situation in Syria.
Schutter's report said Damascus denies 300,000 Kurds rights for citizenship and therefore they cannot travel abroad; they have no access to public employment and are discriminated in access to health and education.
"This is unacceptable. Thought must be given to recognising that these people have a right to Syrian nationality. It is not the official position of the government but I think that it will be a way to create unity," Schutter said in a press conference in Damascus.
Several Kurdish politicians who have raised the nationality issue have been sentenced to long jail terms.
The east, home to most of the Kurds that make up 10-15 percent of the population, has suffered from drought since 2005. Schutter's report said 800,000 people in the region were severely hit by the drought and living in extreme poverty.
"They should be benefiting from much higher level of support than is now provided by the Syrian government," Schutter said, adding that small farmers and herders lost 80-85 percent of their livestock since 2005.
ANF NEWS AGENCY