Court ruling regarding 24 Kurdish activists
Posted by sarkout on April 20 2009 15:20:57
Court ruling regarding 24 Kurdish activists

including Mr Fouad Aliko, Mr. Hassan Saleh


On Tuesday, 14/4/2009 in Damascus, a Judge of the Individual Military Court decided to imprison Mr Fouad Aliko, Secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, and Mr. Hassan Saleh, Member of the Political Committee and the previous Secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, and twenty-two other people who are supporters of Democratic Union Party [PYD] to prison sentences of more than one year. The sentences have been passed down on these people arising from a demonstration on 2 November 2007 when there were protests against the Turkish invasion of Kurdistan of Iraq, in Qamishli, Syria,

Fouad Aliko and Hassan Saleh were not present at that demonstration, nor had they been involved in organising the demonstration. They brought evidence to show that they were not involved, and pleaded not guilty to these offences, however Fouad Aliko said that he is the Secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria.
Extended News
Court ruling regarding 24 Kurdish activists

including Mr Fouad Aliko, Mr. Hassan Saleh


On Tuesday, 14/4/2009 in Damascus, a Judge of the Individual Military Court decided to imprison Mr Fouad Aliko, Secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, and Mr. Hassan Saleh, Member of the Political Committee and the previous Secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, and twenty-two other people who are supporters of Democratic Union Party [PYD] to prison sentences of more than one year. The sentences have been passed down on these people arising from a demonstration on 2 November 2007 when there were protests against the Turkish invasion of Kurdistan of Iraq, in Qamishli, Syria,



Fouad Aliko and Hassan Saleh were not present at that demonstration, nor had they been involved in organising the demonstration. They brought evidence to show that they were not involved, and pleaded not guilty to these offences, however Fouad Aliko said that he is the Secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria.



The twenty-four people who were convicted of participating in the demonstration mentioned are:


Mr. Fouad Rashad Aliko, Secretary of Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria.

Mr. Hassan Ibrahim Saleh, a member of the Political Committee of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria.

Mr. Faris Khalil Anz.

Mr. Ghassan Muhammed Salih Osman.

Mr. Badrakhan Ibrahim Ahmed.

Mr. Marwan Hamid Osman.

Mr. Mahmoud Sheikhmus Sheikho.

Mr. Shiar Ali Khalil.

Mr. Bilal Hussein Hassan Saleh.

Mr. Mohiuddin Sheikhmus Hussein.

Mr. Sheikhmus Abdi Hussein.

Mr. Firas Fares Youssef.

Mr. Mazen Fendiar Hammo.

Mr. Abdi Kamal Murad.

Mr. Moussa Sabri Ageed

Mr. Shaalan Mohsen Ibrahim.

Mr. Jamil Ibrahim Omar.

Mr. Walid Hussein Hassan.

Mr. Mohamed Abdel-Halim Ibrahim.

Mr. Issa Ibrahim Hassou.

Mr. Abdul Karim Hussein Ahmed.

Mr. Abbas Khalil al-Sayed.

Mr. Muslim Salim Hadi Ibrahim.

Mr. Abdulrahman Suleiman Ramo.


Fouad Aliko and Hassan Saleh were eventually acquitted of the offences relating to the demonstration after they admitted to their involvement with the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria. Under Article 288 of the Syrian Penal Code, they were punished for belonging to an illegal organisation. Fouad Aliko and Hassan Saleh were initially sentenced to one year in prison reduced to eight months in prison, but Hassan Saleh was given an additional sentence of one month for encouraging people to participate in the demonstration and an additional four months for incitement to riot.



We, the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria applaud Fouad Aliko, our Secretary, and Hassan Saleh for their bravery in stating that they are Officers of our Party, in the knowledge that they will face imprisonment as a result of their activity on behalf of Kurdish people.



In Damascus the previous day, the Court sentenced other Kurdish political activists, supporters of PYD to terms of imprisonment ranging between five and seven years for convictions under the same Article 288 as members or supporters of an illegal organisation, and under Article 267 for conspiring to annex a part of Syrian territory to a foreign state.



Those sentenced are:

Ms. Zainab Horo - five years imprisonment

Ms. Latifa Mohammed – also five years

Mr. Salah Misto - six years

Mr. Rashad Ibrahim – six years



Mr. Nuri Mustafa Hussein – six years

Mr. Mohammad Habash Rasho - seven years



The Syrian Government has maintained a State of Emergency since 1963, and has used this power to make arbitrary arrests and to create a climate of fear to prevent human rights activists and political organisations flourishing.



Human Rights Watch raised their concerns regarding Kurdish political prisoners in a report dated 15 April 2009:

‘The Syrian Kurds being held were suspected by the authorities of ties to the Movement to Liberate Kurdistan, which was formed after clashes between Kurdish demonstrators and security forces in March 2004 in the northern city of Qamishli that left more than 30 dead. Following violent attacks by the security services on unarmed protesters in Qamishli, armed men attacked a Syrian police station and a military intelligence patrol, allegedly killing two policemen. The Syrian security services suspect the Movement of being responsible for the attacks.

‘A member of the group who escaped arrest told Human Rights Watch that Syrian security services, and notably the security branch called State Security, detained 18 men in the September operation, accusing them of ties to the group even though some of them were not members. According to the member, none of the detained men has been released. He provided Human Rights Watch with the names of eight of the detainees: Munzer Oscan and his two brothers, Nehad and Riad; Munzer's cousin, Kawa Oscan; Kadar Ali Rasho and his two brothers, Bengin and Lokman; and Abdel Baki Khalaf.

‘The Syrian security forces have not released any information on those detained and have not allowed any of the detainees contact with the outside world.’

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in its report dated 26 March 2009 has raised concerns about the way that power and control in respect of human rights abuses lies not in the law but in the security services:

Restriction of basic rights
As noted in the 2007 Report, arbitrary arrests have continued during 2008. Reports have been published about torture in prison, poor prison conditions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, absence of rule of law and severely restricted civil liberties. In their report No Room to Breathe dated 18 October, Human Rights Watch noted that:

"…the most serious barrier to the rights and freedoms of Syria's human rights community lies not in the law but in the role of the powerful security services, which routinely harass human rights groups and scrutinise their leaders, activities, and funding. The security services frequently operate even beyond the provisions of Syria's strict laws to arbitrarily break up meetings of human rights groups, bar activists from traveling, arrest them, and refer them to trial under charges such as 'spreading false information' and 'weakening nationalist sentiments".

This report also emphasises the deterioration in the rights of Kurds:

‘Rights of Kurds
Syria's estimated 1.7 million Kurds continue to suffer from discrimination, lack of political representation and tight restrictions on social and cultural expression. Around 300,000 are still denied citizenship. Approximately 150 Kurds are at present being held in custody as political prisoners. In March, the army opened fire on a celebration of Kurdish New Year (Naw Roz) in north-east Syria, killing three people.

On 10 October, the President issued Decree 49, which questions the right of Syrian citizens to hold property in the border areas of the country. There are to be, with immediate effect, no more entries in the land register. Property can no longer be bought or sold, nor can it be bequeathed to legal heirs. Those affected are the Kurds, concentrated in three areas on the Turkish–Syrian border: Hasaka, Al-Raqah and Aleppo.

The long-term policy of dispossession by Syria is causing mass poverty (80 per cent of Kurds now live below the poverty line, compared with 40 per cent in 2005) and migration. Kurdish leaders estimate that 50 per cent of those living in the Kurdish villages along the border in 2007 migrated to Damascus and Aleppo in 2008.

In October, 7 Kurdish parties and organisations demonstrated against Decree 49; 187 people were arrested, among them Dr Abd al Hakim Bashar, leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party, the largest Kurdish coalition party in Syria.’

We, the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria call for the release of all political prisoners in Syria, and for an end to the arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and torture of those working to bring about basic human rights for Kurds in their homelands.

We ask the international community to recognise that the Syrian Government is engaged in the process of ethnic cleansing of Kurds at the same time as you are engaging in dialogue with the Syrian Government as a part of the solution to the Middle East difficulties.

We ask that you recognise that Kurds are denied basic human rights in Syria, and to engage in dialogue with us to help us to find the way forward so that we can live peacefully in a State of democracy, protecting humanity.



Committee of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria-UK Branch

yekiti.party_uk@yahoo.co.uk