Syria arrests four Kurds: rights group
December 28, 2009
QAMISHLI, Syrian Kurdistan,— Syrian
security forces have arrested four Kurds, including
three senior members of the banned Yakiti party, a
local human rights group said on Monday.
Those detained in the northeastern Kurdish town of
Qamishli were identified as Yakiti officials Hassan
Saleh, Maaruf Mala Ahmd and Muhammad Mustapha, and
artist and activist Anuar Nasso,www.ekurd.netsaid
the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human
"The four Kurds were summoned by the head of the
region and were then arrested for unknown reasons,"
it said in a statement.
Yakiti had adopted a resolution earlier this month
advocating "a solution to the Kurdish issue in
Syria, through the self-determination of Syrian
The rights group appealed to the Syrian authorities
"to free the four detained Kurds and all prisoners
of conscience in Syria," and "to pass a law that
recognises the activities of political parties and
civil society, which guarantee the integrity and
unity of the country."
More than 2 million Kurds live in Syria, comprising
nine percent of the population. They have long
sought official recognition of the Kurdish language
The Kurds live in Syria (Syrian Kurdistan), mainly
in the north bordering Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan
region. They comprise nine percent of the population
and have long sought official recognition of the
Kurdish language and their culture.
Future Movement advocates democracy and equal rights
for Syria's one million Kurdish minority. The
Kurdish language is not allowed to be taught in
schools and tens of thousands of Kurds were denied
citizenship after a 1960s census.
Freedom of expression remains tightly controlled in
Syria, and security forces have sweeping powers of
arrest and detention.
A total 1,500 people were arrested for political
reasons in 2007 and hundreds more who were arrested
in previous years remained in detention,www.ekurd.netaccording
to rights group Amnesty International's 2008 report.
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