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Damascus: Interior Ministry seeks 287 residents of al‑Hasakah province living abroad for »crimes against the state«

KURDWATCH, August 16, 2010—As previously reported, at the beginning of May lists with the names of people living abroad were forwarded to the civil register offices in al‑Hasakah province with the stipulation that those listed could only be issued identification papers and other documents if they reported to the State Security Service. In the meantime KurdWatch has obtained a copy of the complete list of all those affected from al‑Hasakah province—a total of 287 people—as well as a copy of the corresponding letter from the Syrian Interior Minister. From the latter it is evident that the people listed will receive no personal documents, neither in person nor via family members or attorneys. This also means that they cannot apply for a passport via Syrian agencies abroad, and, if they wish to marry, they will not receive any papers from the appropriate civil register office.
Contrary to previous assumptions, the list does not originate from the State Security Service, but from the Interior Ministry. Nevertheless the majority of the people listed must, in fact, appear before the State Security Service; other intelligence services are seldom mentioned. The Interior Ministry’s letter states that the people named, who have fled Syria and are hiding, were sought for »crimes against the state«. Indeed, the majority of those listed are politically active people—Kurds in particular are named, but also some Arabs and Christians. Some of them already left Syria as children. In light of this, the decision not to issue any papers to the group of people named must be understood as a sanction against people considered oppositional.
It is striking that not all people named on the individual lists from Amudah, al-Qahtaniyah, and al-Qamishli also appear on the complete list. This can presumably be explained by the fact that the lists were compiled on various dates unknown to us. As the lists are regularly updated »inconsistencies«, as described above, can occur.
A translation of the letter from the Interior Ministry and a translation of the complete list of names can be downloaded as a PDF file download PDF].


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