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Syria releases Kurdish political prisoners

March 31st, 2005 · 10 Comments · Uncategorized

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has released 312 Syrian Kurds. They were imprisoned following violent football riots in Qamishli in the North East of the country last year.

30 people were killed in that violence, and hundreds were detained and questioned, with most released days later.

Fifteen Kurdish separatists were also released today.

The releases have been welcomed by Amnesty International.

Syria has one of the smallest Kurdish populations in the region (about half a million). The plight of the Kurds – spread across Iraq, Turkey (15 million), Iran and Syria is one of repression. They have been denied their national language and in some cases even citizenship in those four countries.

The prisoner release is the latest Syrian move to increase their rights – fearing that they will demand autonomy like their neighbours across the border in Iraq.


10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 7aidar // Apr 2, 2005 at 8.00 pm

    Do you think the syrian kurds are as nationalistic as their iraqi brothers? Do they want kurdistan as well?

  • 2 sasa // Apr 2, 2005 at 10.29 pm

    I’m not Kurdi so it’s difficult to speak for them. But the Kurds I know in Damascus and Aleppo are angry at the treatment of some Kurds (they were denied passports in the 60s unless they swore alliegance to Syria – many refused).

    They’ve been gaining more and more rights in Syria. The government realises it’s better to have them inside the tent than trying to knock the tent down. So until last year the Prime Minister and Grand Mufti were Kurds.

    Do they want a separate state? I think deep down all Kurds want (and deserve) a state. But Kurds are deeply divided politically, even in Syria they can’t agree what they want.

    There are also far fewer Kurds in Syria, there’s no oil on their land, and they haven’t faced a Saddam – so its a very different fight from the Iraqi Kurds’ fight.

  • 3 Anonymous // Apr 4, 2005 at 1.10 pm

    Sasa, you think the Kurds deserve a seperate state? well then, where will get they get it from? iraq rightly so isn’t going to give them it… syria is big, maybe it should lend a hand to the kurds and give them some land!

  • 4 sasa // Apr 5, 2005 at 11.04 pm

    The Kurds have lived on land which is in present-day Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran for centuries. Syria’s borders were created by colonial powers a few decades ago.

    It is the duty of all four countries to recognise their rights and identity.

    But you certainly can’t chop off part of a country and give it to a group of people. That’s what France did when they chopped Lebanon off Syria. And there would be outrage if America did that to Iraq.

    The only way forward is for Kurds to use their newly strengthened position to press for more autonomy if that’s what they really want. I don’t know if they do.

  • 5 Anonymous // Apr 6, 2005 at 10.45 pm

    WhenI asked a Syrian Kurdish friend how many among Kurds wanted independance he replied “all of us”

  • 6 sasa // Apr 6, 2005 at 11.32 pm

    I’m sure some do, but I think most would disagree. A Kurdish state chopped off Syria wouldn’t be very viable.

    It would consist of a few thousand people, it would have no agricultural land, no industry, no major cities, and would make all of its money from oil – which will run out in ten years!

    Maybe that’s why most Syrian Kurds live in Damascus and Aleppo!

  • 7 Anonymous // Apr 17, 2005 at 6.41 am

    Many Kurds want one big Kurdistan with the Kurdish parts of Iran

  • 8 Anonymous // Apr 19, 2005 at 10.16 pm


  • 9 Anonymous // Dec 14, 2005 at 10.15 am

    in my view. No country or no one should trust kurds. Because They betray Iraq. They joined the (Zionist USA) against the brave poeople of Iraq. They are trators and one day tthey will procclaim Syria is their land. No one should trust these Kurds terrorist
    zionist pigs. I would not be surprise if they help the American
    in invading Syria.

  • 10 [email protected] // Dec 14, 2005 at 10.27 am

    eventough they’re moslem but kurds will never be arabs like us so why should they care about IRAQ or SYRIA or other moslem countries.
    I addmire salah adin he was a hero
    because he confronted the enmies of
    all the arabs. Salah adin was the
    best of the best. There is no other
    person like salh adin. But these the present kurds who are living in IRAQ are triators for the jews, USA ZIONIST pigs

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