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 Hunger strike amongst Kurdish political prisoners in Syria

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Hunger strike amongst Kurdish political prisoners in Syria  8.11.2009   
By Khalaf Dahowd

November 8, 2009

(, Khalaf Dahowd, — Kurdish political prisoners in Adra Prison and Sednaya Military Prison, Damascus, Syria are suffering degrading conditions similar to those that were suffered by prisoners in the Middle Ages. Dozens of young Kurds lie behind high walls and inside dark corridors, hidden in isolation from the outside world, with minimum medical services. These are political prisoners, supporters of the Democratic Union Party, the PKK and PYD, and Sittar – a women’s organization. They stay in individual cells deprived of contact with each other and with their families, subjected to various types of psychological and physical torture.

Syrian Human Rights Committee – MAD, has received information that some of these prisoners started an open-ended hunger strike on 30 October 2009 against the harsh conditions and unfair judgments of the Supreme State Security Court.

They intend to continue the hunger strike until:
• they receive a fair trial
• their isolation ends
• they are allowed to leave the prison yard
• they are granted visits from parents, and relatives
• and they have access to the media, including radio and television bulletins to give them the same conditions as are available to criminal prisoners.

The Syrian Government uses the State of Emergency that has been in place since 1963 to imprison anyone accused of involvement with a Kurdish Political Party, and these arrests are designed to intimidate those who want to work to bring about self-determination for the Kurdish community. The current system is not improving – in fact in Syria the oppression of Kurds is noticeably increasing.

We ask the international community to pay attention to the conditions for Kurdish political prisoners in these prisons in Syria, to investigate the reports of torture and ill-treatment, and to require in their dealings with the Syrian authorities that international standards for the treatment of prisoners are respected. We ask for the release of all political prisoners in Syria. 

International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS
6 November 2009
Email: [email protected]

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