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 Syria arrests four Kurds: rights group  

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Syria arrests four Kurds: rights group  28.12.2009     





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 Rights.

"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 Kurdistan."

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 and culture.

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.       

Copyright, respective author or news agency, AFP | Agencies 

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