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KURDWATCH, December 29, 2010—The writer ʿAbdussalam ʿAbdullah Haji Ibrahim, alias Siamend Ibrahim, will be charged pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. The first hearing in his case is scheduled for January 16, 2011. The single military judge in al-Qamishli denied his attorney's petition to release him from custody. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, December 29, 3010—On December 26, 2010, the criminal court in al-Qamishli postponed the hearing against Mahmud Mahmud Zubayr, Zubayr Mahmud Hasan, Husayn Sharaf ʿAbdullah, ʿAbdulqadir Khalu Muhammad, Ahmad Shaykhu Muhammad ʿAli, and Muhammad ʿAli Shaykhu ʿIsa. The next hearing has not yet been scheduled. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, December 29, 2010—On December 26, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli postponed the hearing against Walida Shaykhmus Boti. The next hearing has not yet been scheduled. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, December 28, 2010—On December 23, 2010, members of the Military Intelligence Service in al-Qamishli arrested the pharmacist Walid Mahmud Yusuf (b. 1971, married, three children). Yusuv is a board member of the Kurdish Organization for the Defense of Human Rights and General Freedoms in Syria (DAD).

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KURDWATCH, December 26, 2010—On December 21, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli decided that ʿUmar ʿAbdi Ismaʿil (b. 1970, poet), ʿAbdulsamad Husayn Mahmud (b. 1962, poet) and Ahmad Fatah Ismaʿil (b. 1969) must remain in custody. Charges have been raised against them pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code.
The Political Security Directorate summoned and arrested the defendants on December 18, 2010 because of their participation in the »Kurdish Poetry Festival« on November 19, 2010 in a town near al-Dschawadiya (Çilaxa). Before the annual festival could begin, members of the Political Security Directorate stormed the venue – the home of Ahmad Fatah Ismaʿil – and collected the personal data of those in attendance. ʿUmar ʿAbdi Ismaʿil and ʿAbdulsamad Husayn Mahmud are thought to be the organizers of the event.

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KURDWATCH, December 25, 2010—On December 20, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli decided to release Walida Schaikhmus Boti from custody. The PYD member has been charged pursuant to Article 288 of the Criminal Code. The next hearing is scheduled for December 26, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, December 23, 2010—On December 19, the criminal court in al-Qamishli decided that Mahmud Mahmud Zubayr (b. 1987, Maktum), his father Zubayr Mahmud Hasan (b. 1965, married, eight children, Maktum) and Husayn Sharaf ʿAbdullah (b. 1973, married, three children) will be released from custody on a bond of 1,000 Syrian Lira.
On November 4, 2010, members of the military police arrested the individuals named, along with Ahmad Shaykhu Muhammad ʿAli (b. 1988), his father Muhammad ʿAli Shaykhu ʿIsa (b. 1945, married) and ʿAbdulqadir Khalu Muhammad (b. 1975, married) in Rumaylan on the suspicion that they wanted to leave the country illegally. On November 11, 2010, they were transferred to the Political Security Directorate in al-Hasakah. During the interrogation there, they were tortured by being forced into a tire and beaten (so-called Dulab method). On the same day they were presented to the prosecutor in al-Hasakah, who referred the case to the district attorney's office in al-Qamishli. The district attorney's office decided to release Ahmad Shaykhu Muhammad ʿAli, Muhammad ʿAli Shaykhu ʿIsa and ʿAbdulqadir Khalu Muhammad from custody.
Mahmud Mahmud Zubayr, Zubayr Mahmud Hasan, Husayn Sharaf ʿAbdullah and ʿAbdulqadir Khalu Muhammad are charged pursuant to Article 33, with reference to Article 2, Decree No. 29 from the year 1970 (Decree on the entry and departure of foreigners). Mahmud Mahmud Zubayr is accused of leaving the country illegally, while the other individuals named are accused of aiding and abetting. Ahmad Shaykhu Muhammad ʿAli and Muhammad ʿAli Shaykhu ʿIsa are charged pursuant to Statute No. 42 from the year 1975 (Passport statute). They are also accused of leaving the country illegally. However, none of the men actually crossed the Syrian border. The next hearing is scheduled for December 26, 2010.

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KURDWATCH, December 21, 2010—The bar association’s Court of Professional Conduct has accused the attorney and human rights activist Radif Anwar Mustafa (b. 1967, married, four children) of being a member of an illegal organization and agitating against the Syrian government through his human rights work and his publications on human rights issues. On December 19, 2010, Mustafa was questioned on the charges raised against him. The attorney is involved in the Syrian Alliance Against the Death Penalty and is chairman and one of the founders of the Kurdish Committee for Human Rights (al-Rasid). According to the bar association, these activities cannot be reconciled with the 1981 Statute No. 39 regarding the organization of the profession of attorney. Radif Anwar Mustafa, who has worked as an attorney since 1997, is threatened with an occupational ban. The next hearing will take place on January 30, 2011.

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KURDWATCH, December 20, 2010—On December 16, 2010, the third single military judge in Aleppo sentenced Dr. Muhammad Khalil ʿAbdi to three months imprisonment pursuant to Article 288 of the Criminal Code. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, December 18, 2010—On December 13, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli questioned Jamal Ibrahim Manje on the charges raised against him. The next hearing is scheduled for December 20, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, December 17, 2010—On December 4, 2010, members of the Political Security Directorate in al-Hasakah summoned and arrested Juan Yusuf Muhammad (b. 1982). Muhammad had been previously deported from Cypress in June 2010, and had to give up his passport at the Damascus airport. He was then interrogated by various intelligence services. In Cypress, Muhammad and other Kurdish refugees had protested against his deportation and taken part in a hunger strike lasting several days.

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KURDWATCH, December 16, 2010—The Syrian authorities have banned Dr. ʿAbdulhakim Bashar (b. 1958 , married, three children), Secretary of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el-Partî), and Muhammad Salih Gado (b. 1946, married, six children), member of the politburo of the Kurdish Left Party in Syria, from traveling to Iraq. Both functionaries had planned to take part in the party congress of the Kurdistan Democratic Party/Iraq. Before their departure on December 9, 2010, they were informed that they were banned from traveling abroad.

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KURDWATCH, December 13, 2010—On December 8, 2010, the governor of al-Hasakah transferred Bahzad Khalil Muhammad (b. 1964, married, three children) from the public hospital in al-Malikiyah (Dêrik) to the public hospital in al-Hasakah. Al-Hasakah is approximately 200 kilometers away from Muhammad's residence in al-Malikiyah. Several intelligence services instigated the transfer after a Baʿth party functionary compiled a negative report about Bahzad Khalil Muhammad. Bahzad Khalil Muhammad has worked in public service for 26 years.

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KURDWATCH, December 12, 2010—On December 9, 2010, the single military judge in Aleppo postponed the hearing in the case of a total of fifty PYD sympathizers until January 11, 2011. Several of the defendants failed to appear for the hearing again. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, December 7, 2010—On November 30, 2010, the Supreme State Security Court in Damascus postponed the hearing against Hasan Ibrahim Salih, Maʿruf Ahmad Mula Ahmad, and Muhammad Ahmad Mustafa indefinitely. Prior to this, the scheduled pleading by the prosecution had also been cancelled. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, December 6, 2010—On November 22, 2010, the governor of al-Hasakah decided to transfer Muhammad Khayr Sulayman Bango (b. 1966, married, seven children) from the Office of School Health in Darbasiyah to the Office of Education in al-Hasakah. The Office of Education is sixty kilometers away from Bango's residence in ʿAmudah. This is the fourth transfer within two years for Bango, a political activist and supporter of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî). Hozan Amin Haj Hamu (b. 1981, married, two children) was also transferred based on a November 7, 2010 decision by the governor of al-Hasakah. A political activist and supporter of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), Hozan Amin Haj Hamu was transferred from the Postal Authority in ʿAmudah to the Postal Authority in al-Hasakah sixty kilometers away. Transfers for political reasons are dictated by the various security services. The governor merely carries out their decisions.

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KURDWATCH, December 4, 2010—On November 28, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli sentenced Walid Muhammad ʿAli Husayn to six months imprisonment and a fine of 100 Syrian Lira pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. The term of imprisonment was thus shorter than in the original verdict. In addition, pursuant to Article 65, the defendant's civil rights were retroactively revoked for the duration of his term of imprisonment. The proceedings were resumed on the basis of an objection by the Court of Cassation. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, December 2, 2010—On November 28, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli sentenced Shaykhmus al-Hasan, Khalil Ibrahim Muhammad, Muhammad Shaykhmus ʿIsa, and ʿAbdulsalam Shaykhmus Mahmud each to six months imprisonment and a fine of 100 Syrian Lira pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. The sentence was reduced to three months due to mitigating circumstances. In addition, pursuant to Article 65, the defendants' civil rights were retroactively revoked for the duration of their term of imprisonment. The proceedings were resumed on the basis of an objection by the Court of Cassation. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, December 1, 2010—On November 25, 2010, members of the Political Security Directorate in al-Qamishli arrested the writer ʿAbdussalam ʿAbdullah Hajji Ibrahim, alias Siamend Ibrahim (b. 1955, married, four children). Ibrahim was first summoned to report to the Political Security Directorate in al-Qamishli. From there he was transferred to the Political Security Directorate in al-Hasakah, which referred his case to the single military judge in al-Qamishli. Following a hearing on November 28, 2010, the judge decided that ʿAbdussalam ʿAbdullah Hajji Ibrahim should remain in jail and referred his case to the military prosecution in Aleppo. Ibrahim is currently still in the al-Qamishli prison, his attorney’s petition for release was dismissed. Several weeks before Ibrahim’s arrest, a Kurdish translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh was found in his belongings at the luggage inspection at the al-Qamishli/Nusaybin border point. Ibrahim had acquired the text in Turkey.

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KURDWATCH, November 27, 2010—On November 12, 2010, ʿAyid Muhammad ʿUthman (b. 1974, married, four children) was arrested. It remains unclear who arrested him or where he is being held. ʿAyid Muhammad ʿUthman is a member of the Syrian Communist Party.

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KURDWATCH, November 26, 2010—After midnight on November 9, 2010, fifteen civil policemen from the Shaykh al‑Hadid (Şiyê) subdistrict near ʿAfrin forcibly entered the home of Muhammad Wahid Shaykhu (b. 1936, married, seven children). Without warning they began to beat Muhammad Wahid Shaykhu, his two daughters Hindrin (b. 1986) and Kurda (b. 1971), and his sons Mustafa (b. 1971, married, two children) and Mahabad (b. 1979). Muhammad Wahid Shaykhu suffered a serious head injury and had to be treated in hospital. He complains of severe headaches and back pain. His daughter Hindrin was also injured and required medical attention. She too complains of severe headaches. The sons Mustafa and Mahabad were arrested on the charge of resisting law enforcement officials. They are currently in prison in ʿAfrin. To date the Shaykhu family does not know the reasons behind the police action. Although the director of the Shaykh al‑Hadid subdistrict threatened consequences if the family reported the policemen, Muhammad Wahid Shaykhu, his two daughters, and the wife of his son Mustafa, Khadijah Sulayman (b. 1972), have filed a complaint with the public prosecutor in ʿAfrin.

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KURDWATCH, November 24, 2010—As a result of his conviction on June 20, 2010, pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code, Salah ʾAyyub Muhammad may no longer pursue his profession as a teacher. The single military judge in al-Qamishli imposed a sentence of four months imprisonment because during a house search, Kurdish books and CDs were found at Muhammad’s residence. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 23, 2010—On October 17, 2010, members of the Political Security Directorate in Raʾs al-ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê) arrested Shukri Husayn Farhan (b. 1960, married, six children). Farhan, a supporter of the Kurdish Left Party in Syria, is currently in the al-Hasakah prison awaiting his trial before the single military judge in al-Qamishli.

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KURDWATCH, November 21, 2010—After his deportation from Denmark, the stateless Kurd ʾAmir Muhammad Jan ʿAto (b. 1982) was arrested at the Damascus airport on November 15, 2010. He is currently at the Political Security Directorate in Damascus. Ato was politically active in Denmark.

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KURDWATCH, November 19, 2010—On November 11, 2010, the first presenting judge in Damascus decided that the military court will be responsible for Ismaʿil Muhammad ʿAbdi's case. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 18, 2010—On October 12, 2010, members of the State Security arrested Yusuf Amad Mirjan (b. 1961, married, four children) in his house in al-Qahtaniyah. Furthermore, his computer is said to have been seized. Mirjan is a teacher, who, until now, has not attracted any political attention.

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KURDWATCH, November 18, 2010—On November 11, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli again interrogated Walid Muhammad ʿAli Husayn. The student, who is also a member of the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî), had already been sentenced on March 23, 2010 to one year imprisonment and a fine of 100 Syrian Lira pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. The new interrogation occurred in connection with a decision by the Court of Cassation that the individual named also should have been charged pursuant to Article 65. The new verdict is expected on November 28, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 17, 2010–On November 11, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli again interrogated Rami Shaykhmus al-Hasan, Khalil Ibrahim Muhammad, Muhammad Shaykhmus ʿIsa, and ʿAbdulsalam Shaykhmus Mahmud. On January 17, 2010, the four men had already been sentenced to six months imprisonment each for inciting confessional strife pursuant to Article 307. [Download verdict] They were newly interrogated in connection with a decision by the Court of Cassation that stipulated the individuals named should also have been charged pursuant to Article 65. The new verdict is expected on November 28, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 13, 2010—On November 9, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli sentenced Muslim Husayn ʿAbbas to six months imprisonment pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code, as well as to three months imprisonment pursuant to Article 288 of the Criminal Code. Pursuant to Article 204 of the Criminal Code, the sentences were combined, and the more severe penalty is to be carried out. Due to mitigating circumstances pursuant to Article 244 of the Criminal Code, the sentence was reduced to four months. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 11, 2010—On November 9, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli sentenced Luqman Ibrahim Husayn, Saʿad Farhan al-Hasan, ʿAbdulghafur Husayn Husayn, and Salah Saʿid Shaykhmus each to one month imprisonment pursuant to Article 336 of the Criminal Code. As the individuals convicted were held in pre-trial custody from September 15, 2010 until October 23, 2010, the sentence is considered served. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 10, 2010—The second investigating judge in Damascus ruled that the military tribunal, not the civil criminal court, is responsible for the case of Ismaʿil Muhammad ʿAbdi. The prosecution has appealed this decision, and ʿAbdi’s case now rests with the first presenting judge in Damascus. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 9, 2010—On November 7, 2010, the military criminal judge in Aleppo sentenced the attorney and writer Mustafa Ismaʿil to seven years imprisonment pursuant to Articles 267 and 278. The sentence was ultimately reduced to two and a half years due to mitigating circumstances. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 9, 2010—On October 20, 2010, the Political Security Directorate in al-Haskah arrested Walida Shaykhmous Boti (b. 1967, married, five children). Boti is a member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

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KURDWATCH, November 8, 2010—On October 27, 2010, Masud Hawas Silo was released from the ʿAdra prison in Damascus. He was arrested at the Syrian-Turkish border on September 13, 2010, when he tried to return home to Germany. Silo told KurdWatch that he was interrogated by members of the Political Security Directorate. He is currently still in Syria. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 6, 2010—On October 28, 2010, members of the Political Security Directorate in al-Malikiyah (Dêrik) arrested Sulayman ʿAli Shawish (b. 1946, married, nine children). Shawish is a supporter of the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

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KURDWATCH, November 5, 2010—On October 26, 2010, members of the military police arrested Hasan ʿUbayd Bahram (b. 1972, married, two children) near the city of al Malikiyah (Dêrik). Bahram is a supporter of the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

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KURDWATCH, November 5, 2010—On October 26, 2010, members of the State Security Service arrested Sadiq Muhammad Mulla Husayn (b. 1954, married, twelve children) near the city of al-Malikiyah (Dêrik). Husayn is a supporter of the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

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KURDWATCH, November 4, 2010—On October 14, 2010, the single military judge in Aleppo postponed the hearing in the case of a total of fifty PYD sympathizers until November 11, 2010. The postponement was due to the fact that several of the defendants had not appeared at the appointed time on October 14. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 3, 2010—On October 26, 2010, the military tribunal in Aleppo sentenced Manal Ibrahim Ibrahim to two years in prison pursuant to Article 278 of the Criminal Code. Ibrahim was arrested on October 15, 2009 in Aleppo. She is a member of the organization Yekîtiya Star, the women's organization of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 2, 2010—On October 31, 2010, the single military judge postponed the hearing against Muslim Husayn ʿAbbas until November 10, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, November 1, 2010—On October 17, 2010, members of the Political Security Directorate in al-Hasakah arrested Siʿud Mamduh Haj Khalil (b. 1972, married, two children), Nawaf Ahmad Farhan (b. 1948, married, eight children), Shukri Husayn Farhan (b. 1966, married, two children), ʿAbdulrahim Mahmud Farhan (b. 1977, married, three children), Farhan ʿAntar al-Muhammad (b. 1959, married, six children), and Kamiran Muhammad Sadiq Farhan (b. 1971, married, four children) in the town of Faqira, near Raʾs al-ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê). The men are accused of making donations to the PKK. The case is pending before the single military judge in al-Qamishli.

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KURDWATCH, October 27, 2010—On October 23, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli decided to release Luqman Ibrahim Husayn, Saʿad Farhan al-Hasan, ʿAbdulghafur Husayn Husayn, and Salah Saʿid Shaykhmus from prison. Their case is still pending before the single military judge in al-Qamishli. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 26, 2010—On October 21, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli questioned Muslim Hussain ʿAbbas (b. 1975, married, five children) about the charges raised against him pursuant to Articles 288 and 307 of the Criminal Code. The defendant denied these charges. The hearing was postponed until October 31, 2010. Members of the Political Security Directorate arrested Muslim Hussain ʿAbbas, a member of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Concord Party (Rêkeftin), on September 12, 2010 in his apartment in Tal Karam near al Darbasiyah.

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KURDWATCH, October 24, 2010—On October 21, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli questioned Luqman Ibrahim Husayn, Saʿad Farhan al-Hasan, ʿAbdulghafur Husayn Husayn and Salah Saʿid Shaykhmus about the charges raised against them pursuant to Article 335 of the Criminal Code. The defendants denied all charges. The next hearing will take place on October 31, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 22, 2010—On October 19, 2010, the Supreme State Security Court in Damascus postponed the hearing against Hasan Ibrahim Salih, Maʿruf Ahmad Mula Ahmad, and Muhammad Ahmad Mustafa until November 30, 2010. The defendants have still been denied contact with their attorneys. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 21, 2010—On October 16, 2010, the State Security Service in al‑Qamishli arrested ʿIsa Ibrahim Hisu (b. 1952, married, nine children). Prior to his arrest, the State Security Service had summoned him to appear there in person. Hisu is a Democratic Union Party (PYD) functionary.

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KURDWATCH, October 20, 2010—On October 17, 2010, the military criminal judge in Aleppo postponed the hearing in the case of the attorney Mustafa Ismaʿil until November 7, 2010. Prior to this, his attorney had submitted his plea to the judge. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 19, 2010—Three years and eight months after his arrest, Tahsin Kahiri Mamo remains »disappeared«. His family told KurdWatch that despite repeated inquiries with the military police in Damascus they have thus far received no answer as to the whereabouts of their son. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 18, 2010—The attorney and human rights activist Ismaʿil Muhammad ʿAbdi, who is currently being held in the ʿAdra prison about 70 kilometers from Damascus, is in poor physical and mental health. Prior to his imprisonment in ʿAdra, ʿAbdi spent forty days at the State Security in Damascus, twenty of which were spent in solitary confinement. During the interrogations he was confronted with emails that he had sent to Syria during the course of his human rights work. It is unclear how the intelligence service gained access to the emails. ʿAbdi had previously been questioned by the second investigating judge in Damascus on October 2, 2010. A case is pending against him pursuant to Articles 287 and 288 of the Criminal Code. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 15, 2010—Pursuant to Article 335, the military prosecution in Aleppo filed suit against Luqman Ibrahim Husayn, Saʿad Farhan al‑Hasan, ʿAbdulghafur Husayn Husayn, and Salah Saʿid Shaykhmus and remanded the case to the single military judge in al‑Qamishli. He will announce the date of the first hearing against the participants in the minute of silence within the next few days. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 14, 2010—On September 13, 2010, Ahmad Rashu Muhammad (b. 1986) was released from custody. Muhammad was arrested on October 25, 2009 in Aleppo and was charged pursuant to Article 288 of the Criminal Code. He was accused of reproducing publications by Kurdish political parties. On September 6, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli decided to drop the charges on the basis of Presidential Decree No. 22, dated February 24, 2010. [Further information on the Presidential Decree]

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KURDWATCH, October 11, 2010—The attorney and human rights activist Ismaʿil ʿAbdi is currently in the ʿAdra prison in Damascus. A charge is pending against him pursuant to Article 287. The second investigating judge in Damascus is responsible for his case. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 9, 2010—On September 26, 2010, the military tribunal in Aleppo sentenced Taymur Ibrahim Ibrahim (b. 1954, five children) to a one-and-a-half-year prison sentence pursuant to Article 278 of the Criminal Code. A supporter of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Ibrahim was arrested by members of the State Security in al‑Qamishli on March 17, 2009. During the twenty days he spent in pretrial custody, he was tortured with blows to the soles of his feet to the point that he could no longer walk. Ibrahim was subsequently brought to the State Security in Damascus where he was also tortured with blows and electric shocks. On May 5, 2009, Ibrahim was transferred to Aleppo. As Taymur Ibrahim had already been in custody for more than one and a half years, he was released following the verdict on September 26, 2010.

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KURDWATCH, October 8, 2010—On October 5, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli decided to release Rasho ʿAbbas Ibrahim from custody. The next hearing in his case will take place on October 24, 2010. A supporter of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), ʿAbbas is charged pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. After prison stays in Damascus and Aleppo, he was transferred to the al‑Qamishli prison on September 21, 2010. During pretrial custody at the State Security in al‑Qamishli, he was subjected to torture—he was forced into a tire and beaten (so-called Dulab method). [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 7, 2010—On October 14, 2010, the single military judge in Aleppo will hear the cases of the following PYD sympathizers: Kawthar Ahmad Sidi (b. 1957), ʿAʾishah Ahmad Afandi (b. 1959), Mahmud ʿAbdurrazzaq Miri (b. 1988), Mustafa Daban Hamdu (b. 1984), Husayn Muhammad Qadir (b. 1984), Farhad Ibrahim Khalid (b. 1989), Khalid ʿUthman Ahmad (b. 1989), Muhammad Mustafa Ramadan (b. 1979), ʿAziz Ahmad Khalil (b. 1977), Muhammad ʿAbdullah ʿAbdurrahman (b. 1979), Nidal Ahmad Jumʿah (b. 1978), Mustafa Ibrahim Shaykh Buzan (b. 1988), Muhammad Muslim Husayn (b. 1972), ʿUthman ʿAbdu Salih (b. 1980), Shadman Mahmud Mistu (b. 1979), Najib Waysu Muhammad (b. 1981), ʿUmar Mahmud Ibrahim (b. 1976), Azad Barkal Husayn (b. 1985), Buzan Mustafa Shaykh Buzan (b. 1968), Muhammad Nawaf ʿAbdurrahman (b. 1988), Waysu Nabu Muslim (b. 1967), Muhammad Mustafa Darwish (b. 1969), Ismaʿil Ahmad Ibrahim (b. 1978), Shaykh Nabi Jumʿah Muhammad ʿAli (b. 1985), Ahmad Ibrahim Jabir (b. 1966), Mustafa Muhammad Muhammad (b. 1977), ʿAli Hamu Subhi (b. 1973), Subhi Muhammad Shaykh Damir (b. 1985), Muhammad Amin al‑ʿAli (b. 1966), Shahin Ahmad Jumʿah (b. 1980), Mihyaldin Shahin Ahmi (b. 1984), ʿAbdulqadir Ahmad Hasi (b. 1982), Kaniwar Ahmad Jumʿah (b. 1987), Ahmad Qahraman ʿUthman (b. 1982), Hasan Shaykh Mustafa Ahmad (b. 1969), ʿAbdurrahman Hasan Muhammad (b. 1985), Muhammad Hasan Salih (b. 1988), Khidir Shaykhi ʿAbdulhanan (b. 1960), Ramadan Shaykhi Mihyaldin (b. 1960), Basam Nabi Ibrahim (b. 1985), Muhammad Ahmad Buzan (b. 1988), Daham Jazaʾir Ismaʿil (b. 1987), Asʿad ʿAli Nabu (b. 1972), Mustafa Hamzah Khati Kur (b. 1973), Nihad Hisu ʿAli (b. 1988), ʿAbdulqadir Yunis Muhammad (b. 1977), Shaykh Nabi ʿAbdulhanan Khalil (b. 1986), ʿAlaʾuddin Shukri Khalil (b. 1986), ʿAdil Kanu Ibrahim (b. 1984), and Qasim Yunis Hajj Qasim (b. 1985). The attorney for the defendants told KurdWatch that his clients were arrested on November 2, 2007 in ʿAyn al‑Arab (Kobanî). Prior to their arrest they had protested against the Turkish attack on Iraqi Kurdistan as part of a demonstration organized by the Democratic Union Party, which has ties to the PKK. They were released in Aleppo six months later, on May 2, 2008.

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KURDWATCH, October 6, 2010—On October 3, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli sentenced Hozan Hasan Muhammad (b. 1986) to six months imprisonment pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. Muhammad was arrested on June 15, 2010 in al‑Qamishli after photos of Iraqi‑Kurdish leaders were found on his cell phone.

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KURDWATCH, October 5, 2010—On September 30, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli sentenced Muhammad ʿAbdi Saʿdun to one year imprisonment and a fine of 100 Syrian Lira pursuant to Article 308 of the Criminal Code, as well as to six months imprisonment and a fine of 100 Syrian Lira pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. Pursuant to Article 204 of the Criminal Code, the penalties will be combined for a total of one year imprisonment and a fine of 100 Syrian Lira. Additionally, all of Saʿdun's rights were revoked pursuant to Article 49 of the Criminal Code. A member of the politburo of the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî), Muhammad ʿAbdi Saʿdun was arrested on May 20, 2010 in al‑Qamishli. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 4, 2010—On September 30, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli ruled to release Jamal Ibrahim Manje from custody. His proceedings are still pending before the court. Mandsche’s file was transferred to the military prosecution in Aleppo. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, October 2, 2010—On September 13, 2010, Masʿud, alias ʿAyid Hawas Silo, (b. 1972, married, four children) was arrested by Syrian security forces at the al‑Qamishli/Nusaybin border point. Silo has lived in Germany since 1995 and was visiting Syria with his family. Family members told KurdWatch that he is currently being detained in the ʿAdra prison in Damascus and that they were not informed of the reasons for his arrest. To date, neither family members nor an attorney have been able to visit Silo in prison.

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KURDWATCH, September 30, 2010—On September 29, 2010, the third single military judge in Aleppo sentenced ʿAbdulhafiz ʿAbdulrahim ʿAbdulrahman to a one-year prison sentence pursuant to Article 288. ʿAbdulrahman was accused of being a member of the Kurdish Human Rights Organization in Syria (MAF). The verdict may be appealed. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, September 29, 2010—On September 26, 2010, the military criminal judge postponed the hearing in the case against the attorney Mustafa Ismaʿil until October 17, 2010. Ismaʿil had been questioned previously about the charges brought against him, pursuant to Articles 267 and 278 of the Criminal Code. At that time Mustafa Ismaʿil denied all charges. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, September 28, 2010—On September 21, 2010, the State Security Service in al‑Hasakah arrested Jamal Ibrahim Manje (b. 1958, married, seven children). Prior to his arrest, Mendsche was summoned to appear in person in al‑Hasakah by the State Security Service in al‑Qamishli. He was arrested in connection with his participation in a minute of silence against Decree No. 49, which was initiated by the Kurdish Political Council in Syria and took place on September 10, 2010 in al‑Qamishli. The whereabouts of Jamal Ibrahim Manje are unknown, nor does his family have any further information on his case.

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KURDWATCH, September 24, 2010—On September 21, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli interrogated Luqman Ibrahim Husayn, Saʿad Farhan al‑Hasan, ʿAbdulghafur Husayn Husayn, and Salah Saʿid Shaykhmus and transferred their case to the military prosecution in Aleppo. The above‑named individuals are currently in the al‑Qamishli prison. After their arrest on September 15, 2010, they were initially held for two days by the State Security Service in al‑Qamishli. They then spent three days at the criminal investigation department in al‑Hasakah. From there they were brought to the Political Security Directorate in order for the military police to subsequently transfer them to the single military judge in al‑Qamishli. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, September 22, 2010—On September 19, 2010, the third single military judge in Aleppo postponed the hearing against ʿAbdulhafiz ʿAbdurrahim ʿAbdurrahman until September 29, 2010. Previously, ʿAbdulrahman’s attorneys had submitted their client’s plea to the judge. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, September 22, 2010—On September 19, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli postponed the hearing against Muhammad ʿAbdi Saʿdun until October 3, 2010. Saʿdun's attorneys had previously submitted their case to the judge. In it they plead »not guilty« and called for the release of their client. In a statement to the court, Saʿdun called for justice and the application of the law. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, September 21, 2010—On September 15, 2010, the State Security Service in al‑Qamishli arrested Luqman Ibrahim Husayn (b. 1968, married, four children), Saʿad Farhan al‑Hasan (b. 1972, married, five children), ʿAbdulghafur Husayn Husayn (b. 1956, married, eight children), and Salah Saʿid Shaykhmus (b. 1968, married, six children), because of their participation in a minute of silence against Decree 49. The day before the arrests, the State Security Service in ʿAmudah had already summoned the above-named individuals to appear in person in al‑Qamishli. The minute of silence was initiated by the Kurdish Political Council in Syria, and took place on September 10, 2010 in ʿAmudah.

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KURDWATCH, September 18, 2010—On August 28, 2010, Riyad Ahmad Khalil (b. 1968) died while in custody at the Political Security Directorate in Aleppo. It is thus far unknown whether he died of natural causes or as the result of torture. Khalil and his son, Damhat Khalil, were arrested together on July 4, 2010, in connection with the arrest of Khalil’s other son, Ahmad Khalil. A former PKK fighter, Ahmad Khalil had voluntarily surrendered to Syrian authorities following his return to Syria. He has remained in custody since that time, whereas Damhat Khalil was released from custody following his father’s death.

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KURDWATCH, September 17, 2010—On September 2, 2010, the Political Security Directorate in Damascus released ʿAbdulkarim Husayn Husayn from custody. According to his own statements, Husain was to report to the Political Security Directorate in Aleppo within 24 hours of his release. Instead, on September 3, 2010, he left Syria illegally for Turkey, where he currently remains. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, September 16, 2010—On September 15, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli postponed the hearing against Muhammad ʿAbdi Saʿdun until September 19, 2010. Once again, Saʿdun was not brought from prison to attend the hearing. At the next court session, Saʿdun’s lawyers are scheduled to present their defense. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, September 11, 2010—On September 8, 2010, the military prosecution in Aleppo released ʿIsmat Hasan Schaykh Hasan (b. 1961, married, nine children) from custody. Hasan, a PYD supporter, was arrested by members of the Air Force Intelligence Directorate on March 30, 2010. After four months in solitary confinement at the Air Force Intelligence Directorate, Hasan was transferred to the Political Security Directorate in Aleppo. His proceedings are still pending before the military court.

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KurdWatch, September 10, 2010—The attorney and human rights activist Ismaʿil ʿAbdi (b. 1960, married, four children) was arrested in Aleppo on August 23 when he and his family tried to leave the country after vacationing in Syria. He was only told that he had to appear before the intelligence service, but was not given any more specific details. Ismaʿil ʿAbdi, who has lived in Germany since 1997, has not been seen or heard from since the time of his arrest. Thus far neither the foreign office nor ʿAbdi’s family in Syria have been able to obtain information on his whereabouts or the reason for his arrest. His family suspects that the arrest is connected with his activities as chairman of the German branch of the Committee for the Defense of Democratic Freedoms and Human Rights in Syria (CDF), and with his various publications critical of the regime. ʿAbdi suffers from asthma and requires medication regularly.

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KURDWATCH, September 9, 2010—On September 5, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli postponed the hearing against Muhammad ʿAbdi Saʿdun until September 15, 2010. Saʿdun was not brought from prison to attend the hearing. At the next court session, Saʿdun’s lawyers are scheduled to present their defense. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, September 7, 2010—On August 24, 2010 Hamzah Hasan, was released from custody in Damascus. He and his cousin, Khalid Hasan, were arrested at the Damascus Airport on July 27, following their deportation from Germany. According to statements by Hasan, he was held in three different locations. However, it was not apparent to Hasan, a Kurd born in the Federal Republic of Germany, which security services held him. Hasan claims that the justification for his arrest was his previous theft conviction in Germany, which allegedly required him to serve his sentence in Syria. In fact, according to Hasan, the sentence had been suspended. Moreover Hasan states that he was wrongly accused of having a drug addiction, also with regard to his German file. Hamzah Hasan assumes that proceedings against him are pending, however, he does not know before which court, nor when the first hearing will take place. Thus far nothing is known about the whereabouts of his cousin Khalid Hasan. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, September 4, 2010—On September 1, 2010, the third single military judge in Aleppo released ʿAbdulhafiz ʿAbdulrahim ʿAbdulrahman from custody. After his arrest on March 2, 2010, he was first held for eleven days by the Military Intelligence Service in Aleppo. He then spent six days in custody at the branch of the Political Security Directorate in Aleppo, and one and a half months at the branch in Damascus. ʿAbdulrahman told KurdWatch that he was regularly insulted and was forced to spend the entire time in darkened solitary confinement. His eyesight deteriorated as a result of his lack of exposure to light. ʿAbdulrahman spent the last four months in custody in Aleppo’s civil prison, before his subsequent release. Proceedings are pending before the court; the next hearing will take place on September 19, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, September 1, 2010—On August 27, 2010, members of the State Security Service arrested Imad Iskan Ahmad (b. 1975, married, six children) in al‑Tanuriyah (al‑Qamishli district). Thus far the reasons for the arrest remain unknown.

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KURDWATCH, August 29, 2010—KurdWatch has at hand the protocol of the State Security Service’s hearing of Khalid Maʿmu Kanju [download PDF], the State Security Service’s letter to the prosecution in Damascus [download PDF], as well as the verdict against Kanju [download PDF]. Kanju was deported from Germany to Syria on September 1, 2009; in the meantime he has returned to Germany. From the documents it becomes evident that, among other things, Kanju was convicted due to his political activities in exile. Moreover the intelligence service protocol indicates that Kanju gave the names of friends and acquaintances who took part in campaigns in Germany that were critical of the regime. In a conversation with KurdWatch, Kanju explained that he had divulged the names under torture. He additionally reports that the State Security Service confronted him with information from his German asylum file. Thus the intelligence service knew that in his hearing before the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees he testified that during his military service he had passed secret information along to the US Embassy. He only confirmed this information under torture. Kanju suspects that the immigration authority of his district passed information from his asylum file on to the Syrian Embassy. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, August 26, 2010—On August 24, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli interrogated Muhammad ʿAbdi Saʿdun. Saʿdun testified that he is a member of the politburo of the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî). He further stated that his articles, which were published on the internet as well as in the party’s official publication, did not serve to provoke civil-war-like conditions. Rather, he intended his articles to call attention to the rights of the Kurds. The hearing was postponed until September 5, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, August 25, 2010—On August 22, 2010, the second military investigating judge transferred ʿAbdulhafiz ʿAbdurrahim ʿAbdurrahman’s case to the third single military judge in Aleppo. ʿAbdulrahman is charged pursuant to Article 288 of the criminal code. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, August 24, 2010—After being deported from Norway, ʿAbdulkarim Husayn Husayn (b. 1956, married, four children) was arrested at the Damascus airport on August 19, 2010. He was first transferred to the Emigration and Passport Authority and then forwarded to the Political Security Directorate. Husayn, who suffers from diabetes, is currently being held at the named security service’s al‑Fayhaʾ Prison in Damascus. Prior to deportation, he had been a board member of the Association of Syrian Kurds in Norway (KKSN).

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KURDWATCH, August 23, 2010—Muhammad Buzan (b. 1958, married, eight children) was released from custody in Aleppo on August 14, 2010. On February 13, 2010, Buzan was arrested in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî), together with five other people, before the start of a demonstration by Democratic Union Party (PYD) supporters demanding the release of Abdullah Öcalan. Buzan was first imprisoned at the Political Security Directorate in Aleppo, and later moved to Aleppo’s civil prison.

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KURDWATCH, August 19, 2010—At the beginning of July 2010, the ophthalmologist Mustafa ʿAbdulfatah ʿUji (b. 1975, married, two children) was told at the Bab al‑Hawa border point on the Syrian-Turkish border near Aleppo that he was not allowed to leave the country and should contact the Political Security Directorate in al‑Hasakah. At the same time, ʿUji learned that the dentist ʿIsa ʿAbdulhalim Shaykhu (b. 1974, married, two children) had also been placed under a travel ban. From October 22–24, 2009, both men, along with other Kurdish doctors from Syria, had taken part in the Mesopotamian Health Days in Diyarbakır (Turkey). The Mesopotamian Health Days is a convention for Kurdish doctors from Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Europe. Members of the Political Security Directorate in al‑Hasakah had already interrogated Mustafa ʿAbdulfatah ʿUji about the matter in March 2010.

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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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KURDWATCH, August 13, 2010 – On August 9, the third single military judge in Aleppo decided to release Dr. Muhammad Khalil ʿAbdi from custody. ʿAbdi is charged pursuant to Article 288 of the Criminal Code; the proceedings are pending before the court. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, August 8, 2010—On the morning of July 27, 2010, the Essen immigration authority had a family of six deported to Damascus. Hamzah Hasan (b. 1984) and Khalid Hasan (b. 1967) were arrested by Syrian security forces upon arrival at the Damascus airport. Their current whereabouts are unknown. Of those deported, three—Hamzah, Mariam (b. 1989), and Imad Hasan (b. 1988)—were born in Germany. Their parents had petitioned for asylum in Germany and during the process had provided a false identity. Originally they had claimed to come from Lebanon and only later revealed their Syrian citizenship. Apparently Hamzah and Khalid Hasan were arrested because they committed a criminal offense in Germany. It is unclear who informed the Syrian security forces of their offense.

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KURDWATCH, August 7, 2010—On July 28, 2010, Fewaz Mihyedîn Hesen (b. 1979, married, six children) was released from prison in Aleppo early following a request to that effect. On June 21, 2010, the military tribunal there had sentenced him to one year and three months imprisonment for membership in an illegal organization in connection with Article 267. Among other things, he was charged with participating in the Newroz festivities of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) on March 21, 2009.
After his arrest by members of the Political Security Directorate in ʿAmudah on August 8, 2009, Hesen was first brought to al‑Hasakah, where he was tortured with blows to the soles of his feet (falaqa method). Subsequently he was brought to Damascus where he was detained in the Political Security Directorate’s al‑Fayhaʾ prison and in the ʿAdra prison. Hesen spent the last five months of his imprisonment in the Aleppo prison. Regular contact with his family was only possible there

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KURDWATCH, August 6, 2010—The single military judge in al‑Qamishli has scheduled the first hearing in the case of Mihemed Ebdî Seedûn for August 24, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, August 4, 2010—On August 1, 2010, the military prosecution in Aleppo interrogated Dr. Mihemed Xelîl Ebdî. It remains unclear with what Ebdî is charged. He is currently in Aleppo’s central prison. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, August 3, 2010—On July 27, 2010, members of the State Security Service in Aleppo arrested Ehmed Mihemed Elî Qilêç (b. 1986, journalism student at the University of Damascus), and Mistefa Mihemed Şêxo (b. 1970, married, two children). Both are members of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Concord Party (Rêkeftin). Prior to this they had been repeatedly interrogated.

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KURDWATCH, July 27, 2010—On July 20, 2010, the Supreme State Security Court in Damascus heard Hesen Ibrahim Salih, Meerûf Ehmed Mele Ehmed, and Mihemed Ehmed Mistefa on the charges laid against them pursuant to Article 267 of the Criminal Code. The hearing was subsequently adjourned until October 19, 2010, at which time the prosecution will present its position. During the hearing the defendants were barred from contact with their attorneys. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, July 19, 2010—On July 8, 2010, members of the Political Security Directorate arrested Hesen Ibrahîm Şêx Ehmed (b. 1964, married, seven children, driver by profession) in his apartment in Aleppo. The reason for his arrest is unknown. Acquaintances describe him as politically interested.

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KURDWATCH, July 17, 2010—Ten years ago today the then 34‑year-old Bashar al‑Assad was sworn in as the new Syrian head of state. His inauguration raised hopes for change in the West and beyond. Admittedly, as the son of the deceased Hafiz al‑Assad, he stood for continuity, but at the same time, the young London-educated technocrat was nevertheless considered capable of opening up the country.
These hopes remain unfulfilled—for the Kurdish population of the country as well. In 2009 alone, KurdWatch investigated 175 cases in which Kurds were detained for political reasons. In ninety of these cases, charges were filed. The defendants were most frequently accused of criminal acts pursuant to Articles 307 (inciting racial and sectarian strife) or 336 (participation in demonstrations) of the Syrian Criminal Code. Playing Kurdish music at a wedding or taking part in a nonviolent dissident demonstration is sufficient to be prosecuted under these Articles. Sympathizers and members of Syrian-Kurdish parties are frequently charged on the basis of Article 288 (joining a political or societal association of international character, without prior approval). These parties are still illegal, although all they demand are reforms within the framework of the existing system. Torture while in custody is routine—in 2009, KurdWatch investigated a total of 23 cases; at least one person died as a result of torture. Members and sympathizers of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) with its links to the PKK are especially affected. Though the number of people who have been placed under a travel ban for political reasons is unknown, this measure is frequently used to discipline members of the opposition.
Moreover, none of the big »Kurdish problems« have been solved under Bashar al‑Assad: Thus, for example, approximately 300,000 stateless Kurds still live in Syria. Their right to education, a free choice of career, property, and freedom of movement are severely limited. The majority were born in Syria, thus according to the law they are entitled to Syrian citizenship [download PDF]. Instead, new problems have been created: With the passage of Decree 49 in September 2008 [download PDF] the sale of inner-city land in border regions became subject to approval—a measure which, due to restrictive application by the various intelligence services, has had a harsh impact on al‑Hasakah province in particular.
The most serious confrontation between Kurds and Syrian security forces to date also took place during Bashar al‑Assad’s tenure: In March 2004 sometimes violent mass demonstrations began in al‑Qamishli and spread to all of Syria; the state used all means necessary to quell the unrest. This resulted in 32 dead and countless injured and arrested [download PDF]. The al‑Qamishli riots were followed by the murder of the Kurdish shaykh Xeznewî in May 2005. In all probability this murder can be credited to the Syrian intelligence service. More deaths occurred in connection with various Newroz festivities, most recently in March 2010 in ar‑Raqqah, when Syrian security forces fired into the crowd [further information on the case]. A number of deaths of Kurdish recruits to the Syrian Army remain unexplained.
In summary, ten years after Bashar al‑Assad’s inauguration, the reforms that the president promised in his inauguration speech have never reached the Kurdish population of the country.

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KURDWATCH, July 16, 2010—On July 11, 2010, the third military investigating judge in Aleppo interrogated Mihemed Ebdî Seedûn again. Two days later, his case was referred to the military investigating judge in al‑Qamishli. Seedûn is accused of criminal acts pursuant to Articles 278 and 288 of the Criminal Code. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, July 13, 2010—On July 11, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli delivered the following verdict in the case of Silêman Ebdilmecîd Oso, Îwan Ezîz Ebdela, Hevend Salih Hisên, Dilxwaz Zeynelabidîn Mihemed, Ebdilkerîm Mihemed Ebdo, Riyad Kemal Hopan, Eymen Salih el‑Mehmûd, Bendewar Behrî Şêxê, Siwar Behrî Şêxê, Mesûd Ferhan Biro, Dilxwaz Mehmûd Derwîş, Reşo Mihemed Şerîf Mîxan, Riyad Mihemed Ehmed, Salar Barzan Ebdilrehman, Deham Hesen Şêxê, and Reşîd Remedan Osman:
1. The charges pursuant to Articles 288 and 335 of the Criminal Code are dropped due to Presidential Decree No. 22, dated February 24, 2010. [Further information on the Presidential Decree].
2. Hevend Salih Hisên, Îwan Ezîz Ebdela, Mesûd Ferhan Biro, Reşo Mihemed Şerîf Mîxan, Bendewar Behrî Şêxê, Siwar Behrî Şêxê, and Dilxwaz Mehmûd Derwîş are acquitted of the charge pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code.
3. Silêman Ebdilmecîd Oso, Ebdilkerîm Mihemed Ebdo, Salar Barzan Ebdilrehman, Dilxwaz Zeynelabidîn Mihemed, Deham Hesen Şêxê, Riyad Mihemed Ehmed, Eymen Salih el‑Mehmûd, Reşîd Remedan Osman, and Riyad Kemal Hopan are sentenced to six months imprisonment each pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. Due to mitigating circumstances, the prison terms will be reduced to four months. Additionally the time spent in pretrial custody will be credited towards the prison term. Furthermore the individuals named are banned from civil service jobs.
4. The verdict may be appealed. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, July 12, 2010—One month ago members of various security authorities arrested Dr. Mihemed Xelîl Ebdî (b. 1961) early in the morning in his apartment in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). Since then the orthopedist has been missing. Mihemed Xelîl Ebdî is not considered politically active.

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KURDWATCH, July 7, 2010—Xalid Mio Kenco returned to Germany via the Düsseldorf airport on July 6, 2010. On September 1, 2009, under the German-Syrian readmission agreement, Kenco had been deported from the Federal Republic of Germany to Syria where he was detained and tortured. On February 8, 2010 the single military judge in al‑Qamishli sentenced him to four months imprisonment pursuant to Article 287 of the Criminal Code for knowingly spreading false or exaggerated information abroad. In January 2010 he managed to escape to Turkey; he has now been allowed to return to Germany from there. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, July 6, 2010—On June 24, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli postponed the case of Silêman Ebdilmecîd Oso, Îwan Ezîz Ebdela, Hevend Salih Hisên, Dilxwaz Zeynelabidîn Mihemed, Ebdilkerîm Mihemed Ebdo, Riyad Kemal Hopan, Eymen Salih el‑Mehmûd, Bendewar Behrî Şêxê, Siwar Behrî Şêxê, Mesûd Ferhan Biro, Dilxwaz Mehmûd Derwîş, Reşo Mihemed Şerîf Mîxan, Riyad Mihemed Ehmed, Salar Barzan Ebdilrehman, Deham Hesen Şêxê, and Reşîd Remedan Osman until July 10, 2010. The verdict is expected on this day. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, July 3, 2010—As with the list of expatriate persons from al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî) wanted by the State Security Service, the list from al‑Qamishli has also been extended. The following names were added: Mihemed Salih Ibrahîm Usman, Mihemed Selîm Mele Hisên, Silêman Selîbê. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, July 1, 2010—On June 22, 2010, the second military investigating judge in Aleppo adjourned the hearing in the case of Ebdilhefîz Ebdilrehîm Ebdilrehman until August 24, 2010. Prior to this Ebdilrehman was interrogated in detail about his work for MAF, a Kurdish human-rights organization in Syria. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, July 2, 2010—On June 28, 2010, the body of Henan Ebdo Ebdilqadir (b. 1983, married, one child) was handed over to his relatives at the Tishrin Military Hospital in Damascus. The family was informed that Ebdilqadir died of a heart attack. Members of the Air Force Intelligence Directorate had arrested the Democratic Union Party (PYD) supporter one week after the festivities for the Kurdish New Year’s festival (Newroz) on March 21, 2010 in the city of ar‑Raqqah. To date nothing is known about the reasons for his arrest. Whether Ebdilqadir’s death was a result of torture is also unknown. Thus far his family has not wanted to comment on the death of its son.

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KURDWATCH, June 30, 2010—KurdWatch now has a corrected and extended list of Kurds from al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî) who are living abroad and wanted by the State Security Service. Seven additional people have been added to the list since it was published by KurdWatch on May 27.

List of names from al‑Qahtaniyah:

Aslan Xaçik
Bedridîn Elî Elî
Bercez el‑Şiwêş
Cengîzxan Şêx Umer
Dara Mehmûd Mûsa
Dara Mistefa Mihemed
Ebdilbaqî Salim Yûsiv
Ebdilbasit Hesen Hesen
Ebdilxefûr Yûsiv Usman
Ehmed Ibrahîm Reşîd
Ehmed Ilwan Miaz
Emîna Ibrahîm Kendî
Fehîm Ebas Mihemed
Hemze el‑Şiwêş
Ilyas Xelef
Îmad Iskan Ehmed
Kamîran Ebdilmecîd Haco
Mesûd Mihemed Xelef
Mihemed Ibrahîm Reşîd
Mihemed Salih Deham el‑Xeyda
Mihemed Salih Nûri el‑Umer
Mihemed Sefaa
Mihemed Silêman Yûsiv
Mihemed Xêr Remedan Yûsiv
Mutesem Şêxmûs Ceelo
Nadiya Mihemed Cemîl
Nebîl Hesen
Rebîaa Silêman Mihemed Tahir
Rênas Emo Sebrî
Ridwan Ebdî Mihemed
Riyad Mihemed el‑Hesen
Seeb Ebas
Serdar Sebrî el‑Mîro
Şêrko Ebdilkerîm Ebas
Şêrko Xerbî Ebas
Tayis Mehmûd Yûnis
Xalid Ilwan Heqî

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KURDWATCH, June 29, 2010—On June 23, 2010, the student, journalist, and human-rights activist Kemal Hisên Şêxo (b. 1978) was arrested at the Syrian-Lebanese border and transferred to the Political Security Directorate in Damascus (al‑Fayhaʾ prison). His brother Ciwan Hisên Şêxo was also arrested. Kemal Hisên Şêxo was arrested while attempting to cross the border with his brother’s identification card. Due to his human-rights activities, Kemal Hisên Şêxo is under a travel ban.

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KURDWATCH, June 25, 2010—On June 21, 2010, the military prosecution in Aleppo interrogated Mihemed Ebdî Seedûn. Seedûn, a member of the politburo of the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî), is accused of criminal acts pursuant to Articles 278 and 288 of the Criminal Code. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, June 24, 2010—On June 20, 2010, the military tribunal in Damascus confirmed its March 14, 2010 verdict against Barzanî Kerro. Kerro was sentenced to five years imprisonment pursuant to Article 267 of the Criminal Code. Due to mitigating circumstances the penalty was reduced to two and a half years. Additionally Kerro’s civil rights were revoked. His attorney subsequently filed an appeal against the decision with the appellate court in Damascus. This was granted and the case was referred back to the military tribunal in Damascus for a new decision. Kerro’s attorney announced that he will also file an appeal against the confirmation of the verdict. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, June 23, 2010—On June 20, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli sentenced Welat Eyûb Mihemed and Selah Eyûb Mihemed each to six months imprisonment pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. The penalty was reduced to four months due to mitigating circumstances. The charge pursuant to Article 288 of the Criminal Code was dropped due to Presidential Decree No. 22, dated February 24, 2010 [Further information on the Presidential Decree]. The convicted men, who were charged with the possession of Kurdish language publications, must serve a total remaining sentence of two months. Their attorneys announced that they will appeal the decision. During the pronouncement of judgment, Welat Eyûb Mihemed briefly lost consciousness. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, June 22, 2010—On June 20, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli sentenced Mehmûd Xelef Sefo to one year imprisonment pursuant to Article 307 and to six months imprisonment pursuant to Article 288. Presidential Decree No. 22, dated February 24, 2010, was not applicable as Sefo was arrested after its entry into force. The penalties were combined and the more severe will be carried out. Mitigating circumstances, which are typical in such cases, were not recognized by the court. The attorneys announced that they will appeal on points of law. Mehmûd Xelef Sefo is a member of the politburo of the Kurdish Left Party in Syria. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, June 18, 2010—The first hearing in the case of Ebdilhefîz Ebdilrehîm Ebdilrehman will take place before the second military investigating judge in Aleppo on June 22, 2010. Ebdilrehman, member of the Human Rights Organization in Syria (MAF), is charged pursuant to Article 267 of the Syrian Criminal Code. He has been in custody since March 2, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, June 17, 2010—On June 14, 2010, members of various Syrian security authorities stormed an assembly of the Kurdish Political Council. The event had to be canceled. The Kurdish Political Council, which is comprised of eight Syrian-Kurdish parties, had organized the event on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the foundation of the first Kurdish party in Syria.

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KURDWATCH, June 16, 2010—On June 14, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli postponed the case of Silêman Ebdilmecîd Oso, Îwan Ezîz Ebdela, Hevend Salih Hisên, Dilxwaz Zeynelabidîn Mihemed, Ebdilkerîm Mihemed Ebdo, Riyad Kemal Hopan, Eymen Salih el-Mehmûd, Bendewar Behrî Şêxê, Siwar Behrî Şêxê, Mesûd Ferhan Biro, Dilxwaz Mehmûd Derwîş, Reşo Mihemed Şerîf Mîxan, Riyad Mihemed Ehmed, Salar Barzan Ebdilrehman, Deham Hesen Şêxê, and Reşîd Remedan Osman until June 24, 2010. Prior to this the attorneys had filed their plea. The verdict is expected on June 24. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, June 14, 2010—On June 14, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli postponed the case of Welat Eyûb Mihemed and Selah Eyûb Mihemed until June 20, 2010 without providing a reason. Both have been charged pursuant to Articles 288 and 307 of the Criminal Code. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, June 15, 2010—On June 14, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli postponed the case of Mehmûd Xelef Sefo until June 20, 2010. Prior to this the attorneys had filed their plea. The verdict against Sefo is expected on June 20. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, June 10, 2010—In addition to al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî) and ʿAmudah, KurdWatch has managed to obtain the names al‑Qamishli expatriates wanted by the State Security Service. What is striking about this list is that a great many of the people named are Christians. According to an informant from al‑Qamishli, the State Security Service lists are incomplete insofar as expatriates wanted by other intelligence services are not necessarily listed. [Further information on the case]

List of names from al‑Qamishli:

Yûsiv Mîxaêl Afram
Yûsiv Yasîn Ebdilezîz
Yûsiv Melkî Gewriyê
Noşîn Faris Iniz
Ibrahîm Cibraîl Qaso
Ibrahîm Cemîl Elî
Ehmed Ismaîl Usman
Enwer Yûsiv Amaîl
Ekrem Mûsillî
Ferhad Ehmed Ehmed
Izedîn Ferîd Xelîl
Ebdilbarî Elî Elî
Ebdilwehab Tewfîq Çelebî
Emar Silêman el‑Hîlalî
Ebdilxaliq Mihemed Mehmûd
Ebdilreûf Hisên Elî
Ebid Elî Elî
Şêro Ebdilletîf Silêman
Ebdilehed Îlya Îlya
Şukrî Ismaîl Mihemed
Mîlad Cozêf Hilmî
Cozêf Hilmî
Cak Lehdo
Gibraîl Tûma
Gewriyê Eblehd
Mihemed Hisên
Umer Celal
Ebdilminim Xeldûn
Dawûd Gorgîs
Xalid Reşîd
Behaeldîn Ebdilwehab
Can Îsa

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KURDWATCH, June 7, 2010—On June 6, 2010, the Supreme State Security Court postponed the decision in the case of Hesen Salih, Meerûf Mele Ehmed, and Mihemed Mistefa until July 20, 2010. Since Mihemed Mistefa is an attorney, a representative of the Syrian bar association must take part in his trial. As this representative did not appear, the trial was postponed. The three politburo members of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) have been charged pursuant to Article 267 of the Criminal Code. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, June 5, 2010—As already reported, at the beginning of May the State Security Service forwarded lists with the names of people living abroad 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 the intelligence service named had granted the appropriate permission. In addition to al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî), KurdWatch meanwhile could also obtain the list of names from the civil register office in ʿAmudah. [Further information on the case]

List of names from ʿAmudah:

Ehmed Tewfîq el‑Huseynî
Ehmed Hesen Mehmûd
Emîne Ismaîl Hiso
Emîn Ehmed Emîn Bengo
Ehmed Hesen Elî
Ehmed Ebdilhelîm Ismaîl
Emîn Mistefa el‑Umerî
Istêr Ibrahîm Ehmed
Sîrwan Silêman Hec Hisên
Seed Mehmûd Ehmed
Silêman Hesen Hisên
Eythem Mihemed Eyhmed
Ebdilbaqî Salih el‑Yûsiv
Ebdilhelîm Yûsiv el‑Mehmûd
Xezala Ismaîl Hiso
Wesmiya Ismaîl Hiso
Ezîz Mihemed Nayif
Ûdey Mehmûd Eseed
Ebdilhelîm Hisên Mele Mihemed
Ebdilbasit Ibrahîm Seyda
Ebdilbaqî Cemîl Eseed
Adil Hisên Mihemed
Ebdilezîz Ebdela Enter
Luqman Hisêb Dawud
Beşîr Zibêr Gewrê
Beşîr Şêxmûs Hiso
Bêrîvan Ebdilrehman Ehmed
Hisên Hec Mûsa Elî
Hesen Ibrahîm Umer
Hesen Hacî Hacî
Xalid Welî Îsa
Danîş Fêsel Seedûn
Danîş Yûsiv Cumaa
Rakan Ekrem Hiso
Seededîn Mele Ismaîl
Ilyas Kenco Meemo
Azad Mistefa el‑Umerî
Mistefa Behcet Elî
Luqman Hesen Ibrahîm
Nûbar Ibrahîm Mûsa
Nîzar Ibrahîm
Mehmûd Mihemed Gêlo
Mehmûd Şeebo Mehmûd
Merwan Şêxmûs Osman
Mihsin Hisên Mihemed
Faris Ibrahîm Hec Hisên
Ferhan Salih Zoro
Ferhan Ehmed Hesen
Fêsel Eyo Yûsiv
Kadar Salih Pîrê
Mihemed Salih Mistefa
Mihemed Ebdilezîz Mele Ibrahîm
Mihemed Efîf el‑Huseynî
Mihemed Elî Ehmed
Mistefa Behcet Elî
Nadir Seîd Hiro
Yasir Ferhan Oso
Mihemed Elî Mistefa Salih

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KURDWATCH, June 4, 2010—At least two hospitals in Damascus, the private hospital al‑Bayruni and the university hospital al‑Muwasat, refuse to treat maktumin (unregistered stateless people). Moreover, one case is known in which the al‑Bayruni Hospital, which specializes in cancer treatment, refused medical care to an ajnabi (registered foreigner). For more information on the situation of stateless Kurds, see the report »Stateless Kurds in Syria—Illegal invaders or victims of a nationalistic policy?« [Download PDF]

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KURDWATCH, June 1, 2010—On May 30, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli postponed the pronouncement of judgment in the case of Mehmûd Xelef Sefo until June 14, 2010. Sefo is a member of the politburo of the Kurdish Left Party in Syria. [Further information on the case]

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KURDWATCH, May 27, 2010 – At the beginning of May, the State Security Service forwarded lists with the names of people living abroad to the civil register offices in al‑Hasakah province with the stipulation that the people listed could only be issued identification papers and other documents with the prior approval of the State Security Service. The same applies to family members who request papers on which the name of the listed person appears—for example extracts from the family register. Those affected are predominantly Kurds; only a few Arabs and Christians are named.
KurdWatch has successfully obtained 30 of the 37 names that were forwarded to the register office in al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî). The people listed here were originally registered in al‑Qahtaniyah. Some of them are politically active; others have thus far hardly shown themselves to be part of the opposition. KurdWatch is currently researching further background information and lists of names from other civil register offices will soon be published on KurdWatch.

List of names from al‑Qahtaniyah:

Aslan Xaçik
Bengî Haco
Bercez el‑Şiwêş
Cengîzxan Şêx Umer
Dara Mihemed Mistefa
Dara Mihemed Mûsa
Ebdilbaqî Salih el‑Yûsif
Ebdilbasit Hesen Hisên
Ebdilxefûr Usman
Ehmed Ibrahîm Raşîd
Emîna Ibrahîm Kendî
Hemza el‑Şiwêş
Iliyas Xelef
Îmad Iskan Ehmed
Kamîran Haco
Mehaz Elwan Heqî
Mesûd Xelef
Mihemed Ibrahîm Reşîd
Mihemed Salih Nûrî el‑Umer
Mihemed Sefa Heqî
Mihemed Xêr Remedan
Muhtesim Şêxmûs Çelho
Rênas Umer
Ridwan Ebid Mihemed
Riyad Mihemed el‑Hisên
Serdar Sebrî
Şêrko Ebdilkerîm Ebas
Şêrko Xerbî Ebas
Xalid Elwan Heqî
Xelîl Hesen

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May 22, 2010 – Hesen Salih, Meerûf Mele Ehmed, and Mihemed Mistefa, all members of the politburo of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), will be put on trial before the Supreme State Security Court in Damascus on June 6, 2010. They are charged pursuant to Article 267 of the Criminal Code. [Further information on the case]

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May 22, 2010 – On May 20, 2010, the State Security in al‑Qamishli arrested Mihemed Ebdî Seedûn (b. 1960, married, seven children), member of the politburo of the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî). Prior to this Seedûn was summoned to appear before the State Security. Thus far the reason for his arrest remains unknown.

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May 20, 2010 – Ebdilfetah Nûrî Dihêr (b. 1953, married, six children), leader of the Kurdish initiative »Free Patriotic Union«, was refused exit from Syria in February 2010. According to his own statements, he was told at the border point al‑Qamishli/Nusaybin that he may not leave the country. He was additionally instructed to contact the State Security in al‑Qamishli on this matter. Although he went there several times—most recently on May 10, 2010—he received neither an appointment nor information about the reason for the travel ban imposed upon him.

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May 15, 2010 – On May 4, 2010, the Supreme State Security Court in Damascus sentenced Hafiz Micwel Şindî (b. 1975, married) to four years imprisonment pursuant to Article 278. Şindî was arrested on June 1, 2008, in al‑Hasakah. As he was not represented by an attorney, the reasons for his arrest and conviction are unknown. Şindî’s family, which has thus far been denied contact with him, also has no information in this regard. Thus it remains open whether there is a connection between his arrest and possible activities in Syria or his stay in Cyprus—Şindî was a migrant laborer there until summer 2007.

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May 13, 2010 – On April 5, 2010, Siûd Ebdilqadir Ibrahîm (b. 1975, married) was released from custody by order of the single military judge in al‑Qamishli. A charge against him pursuant to Article 288 of the Criminal Code is pending. Members of the Political Security Directorate arrested Ibrahîm, a Democratic Union Party (PYD) activist, on November 4, 2009 in al‑Qamishli. He spent nine days in solitary confinement at the Political Security Directorate in al‑Hasakah before he was transferred to the city’s central prison. Ibrahîm was tortured during his time in solitary confinement; he was hit in the face and beaten on the feet with a water pipe.

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May 8, 2010 – On April 22, 2010, Enwer Naso, a common member of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), was released from custody. On December 26, 2009, armed members of the Political Security Directorate had arrested Naso along with Hesen Salih, Meerûf Mele Ehmed, and Mihemed Mistefa, all three members of the Yekîtî politburo, in the office of the al‑Qamishli district commissioner; they were then brought to al‑Hasakah. There they were detained for ten days, nine of them in solitary confinement. During this period they received only one meal per day; some days there were no meals. Additionally, Enwer Naso was tortured during his time in prison in al‑Hasakah. During an interrogation he was first hit in the face and subsequently beaten on the feet with a water pipe. The four detainees had to make written statements as to whether, and if so why, they advocated the right of Kurdish self-determination.
On January 4, 2010 Hesen Ibrahîm Salih, Mihemed Ehmed Mistefa, Meerûf Mele Ehmed, and Enwer Naso were brought to the Political Security Directorate’s al‑Faihaʾ prison in Damascus. Meeruf Mele Ehmed and Enwer Naso were placed in a common cell of roughly five square meters. It was cold and damp, but in contrast to the cell in al‑Hasakah, it had a toilet. Ehmed and Naso suffered from pains in the chest which spread to their ears and led to significant balance problems and nausea. Mihemed Mistefa was held in another cell with three prisoners who were unknown to him. Hesen Salih was first held in the treatment room of the prison doctor, but was relocated to Mihemed Mistefa’s cell on April 10, 2010. All that the prisoners received from outside of the prison were clothes that their families had brought. However, these were so damaged during the inspection for prohibited items that they were useless. The prisoners were nevertheless forbidden to repair them. At first the prisoners were allowed five minutes of yard exercise per day; later this was reduced to once every fourteen days. Twice a week they visited a doctor. They were interrogated in handcuffs several times; their eyes were usually bound. All petitions for transfer to a conventional prison were declined.
On April 19, 2010, Hesen Ibrahîm Salih, Mihemed Ehmed Mistefa, Meerûf Mele Ehmed, and Enwer Naso were presented to the Supreme State Security Court. The judge partly reviewed the statements recorded in the interrogation protocols. Following the proceedings, Enwer Naso was released from custody on April 22. No suit was filed. He had stated he was a political activist, an artist and poet, as well as a Yekîtî sympathizer. Hesen Ibrahîm Salih, Mihemed Ehmed Mistefa, and Meerûf Mele Ehmed remain in custody.
As a result of the beatings and the poor prison conditions, Naso still suffers from pain and ringing in his left ear as well as kidney pain. Additionally, he has difficulty speaking due to damage to a tooth. [Further information on the case]

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May 9, 2010 – Reşo Ebas Ibrahîm (b. 1990) is being held by the State Security in Damascus. On March 29, 2010, members of the State Security arrested the Democratic Union Party (PYD) supporter, who is in his final year of secondary school, at his place of employment—a cell phone store in al‑Qamishli. Additionally, a computer was confiscated. Reşo Ebas Ibrahîm’s family has no contact with him.

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May 5, 2010 – Viyan Ebdilhekîm Beşar may no longer leave Syria without the permission of the Farʿ Filastin, a branch of the Military Intelligence Service in Damascus. The daughter of Dr. Ebdilhekîm Beşar, Secretary of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî), was informed of this by the Military Intelligence Service in Damascus on April 29, 2010. Additionally, she was told that she would not be allowed to work in civil service following the completion of her studies, due to her father’s political activity, which would cause her and her family additional harm. Moreover, she was informed that her father could be »disappeared«, and that the only reason this had not yet happened was that the time was not right and he should not be made a hero. [Further information on the case]

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May 5, 2010 – The politician and writer Ehmed Mihemed Mistefa, alias Pîr Rustem, was released from custody in the Aleppo central prison on April 27, 2010. Charges against him pursuant to Articles 267, 288 and 307 are pending before the single military judge in Aleppo. [Further information on the case]

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April 29, 2010 – On April 25, 2010, Viyan Ebdilhekîm Beşar (b. 1988), daughter of Dr. Ebdilhekîm Beşar, Secretary of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî), appeared in person in al-Hasakah to renew her passport. She was subsequently told to first report to the Farʿ Filastin, a branch of the Military Intelligence Service in Damascus. There Viyan Ebdilhekîm Beşar was interrogated for four hours on April 27, 2010. She was additionally summoned to reappear in person on April 28, 2010. Thus far her passport has not been renewed. Due to a travel ban, her father is unable to leave Syria.

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April 28, 2010 - Henadî Temo Mihemed, Ronak Ebdilrehman Mihemed and Siamend Mihemed Etê, all students at the Universtiy of Aleppo, and school pupil Ebdilezîz Mihemed Etê were released from custody in Aleppo on April 24, 2010. After their arrest on March 16, 2010, they were first held by the local military police. Ten days later they were transferred to the Political Security Directorate in Aleppo and interrogated about their participation in a minute of silence for the victims of the poison gas attack on the Iraqi-Kurdish city of Halabja. Thus far nothing is know about the whereabouts of the student Ferman Hisên Mihemed Elî, who was also arrested on March 16, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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April 21, 2010 – On April 18, 2010, members of the State Security arrested Azad Ebdilrezaq Welî (b. 1985) in his apartment in Aleppo. Welî is a computer science student and head of the student branch of the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî) at the University of Aleppo. Thus far nothing is known about the reason for his arrest.

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April 19, 2010 – On April 18, 2010, the Supreme State Security Court in Damascus sentenced Nezmî Ebdilhenan Mihemed, Ehmed Xelîl Derwîş, Yaşa Xalid Qadir, and Dilgeş Şemo Memo to five years imprisonment each pursuant to Article 267 of the Criminal Code. The members of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) were arrested by members of the military intelligence in Aleppo on January 29, 2007. Tehsîn Xeyrî Memo was also arrested at that time. To date he remains »disappeared«, there is no information on the status of his health or his whereabouts. [Further information on the case]

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April 15, 2010 – Seven months after members of the Political Security Directorate arrested him, Elî Hesen Hisên (b. 1983) has been charged pursuant to Article 267 of the Criminal Code. The first military investigating judge in Aleppo transferred his case to the military tribunal in Aleppo. Elî Hesen Hisên, a Democratic Union Party (PYD) activist, is currently in custody in Aleppo. The state of his health is unknown.

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April 12, 2010 - Ednan Bozan (b. 1969), who was convicted in Februar 2008, served the remainder of his sentence from March 13 until April 7, 2010 in ʿAyn al-ʿArab (Kobanî). At the time the military court in Aleppo had sentenced him to six months imprisonment pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. He was credited the time spent in pre-trial custody from June 19 until November 24, 2007. On March 13, 2010, he was arrested by police in ʿAyn al-ʿArab with the order to serve the remaining 24 days. He was released after 26 days in prison.

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April 13, 2010 – The attorney and writer Mistefa Ismaîl is in prison in Aleppo and has been charged pursuant to Articles 267, 278 and 288 of the Syrian Criminal Code. His case rests with the second military investigating judge in Aleppo. [Further information on the case]

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April 9, 2010 – On April 1, 2010, members of the Political Security Directorate in al-Hasakah transferred Mehmûd Xelef Sefo to the military police in al-Qamishli. On April 5, 2010, after hearing Sefo, the single military judge responsible transferred the case to the military prosecution in Aleppo. Sefo has been held in the al-Qamishli prison since April 1. [Further information on the case]

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April 9, 2010 – Four students from the University of Aleppo and one school pupil have been in custody in Aleppo since March 16, 2010. Ferman Hisên Mihemed Elî (b. 1991, first-year pedagogy student), Henadî Temo Mihemed (b. 1989, second-year mechanical engineering student), Ronak Ebdilrehman Mihemed (b. 1989, second-year electrical engineering student), Siamend Mihemed Etê (b. 1986, first-year French language student), and Ebdilezîz Mihemed Etê (b. 1993, ninth grade) were arrested on the University of Aleppo campus by university members of the Baʿth Party for taking part in a minute of silence for the victims of the poison gas attack on the Iraqi-Kurdish city of Halabja. They were transferred to the military police in Aleppo.

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April 8, 2010 – Although this year's Newroz festivities in al-Hasakah were comparatively quiet, at least one person died in skirmishes with security forces in the Syrian city of ar-Raqqah (ar-Raqqah province). KurdWatch documents the events in chronological order:
On March 20, 2010, employees of the ʿAmudah city hall in the village of Dugir (ʿAmudah sub-district) destroyed the tents and the stage that had been erected for the Newroz celebration the following day. Eight Syrian-Kurdish parties, united in the Kurdish Political Council since December 2009, had called for the Newroz festivities. The festival itself proceeded wthout disturbance on March 21.
The Newroz stage in al-Malikiyah (Dêrik) was also destroyed on March 20, 2010. The festivities likewise proceeded peacefully.
Between nine and ten o'clock on the morning of March 21, 2010, clashes between Syrian security forces and Democratic Union Party (PYD) supporters occurred near the PYD's Newroz stage close to the grain silo north of the city of ar-Raqqah. They were triggered by a dispute between a group of Arabs and PYD supporters. The former was bothered by a picture of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, which was attached to the stage. The dispute developed into a brawl, with security forces in attendance using water guns. PYD supporters responded by throwing stones at the security forces' vehicles, which in turn provoked the security forces to fire live ammunition into the crowd. Mihemed Heyder Ûmer (b. 1992) was killed by a shot in the head. Other people suffered bullet wounds and were later treated in local hospitals. Members of the security forces are also said to have been injured. Reports that a young woman, Medya Qewas Mesî (reportedly 22 years old), and one another person were killed have not yet been confirmed.
Numerous people were arrested in connection with the events in ar–Raqqah. Some were charged with inciting racial and sectarian strife. Several were released from custody shortly afterwards. Their cases are still pending before the court.
Despite intense research, KurdWatch was unable to obtain further information – in particular verified personal data of those injured or detained. One reason is because the security authorities in ar-Raqqah have cut access to public hospitals and thus to important eye-witnesses. No official information on the number of dead, wounded, or detained has been released. Since ar-Raqqah lies outside the majority Kurdish areas, research was even more difficult.
On March 21, 2010, several people were arrested in al-Hasakah on the way to the Newroz festivities including Qehreman Ibrahîm Elî (b. 1974) and Nuʿman Silêman Ehmed (b. 1971). To date both are still in al-Qamishli prison.
Lezgîn Hesno, Bengîn Hesno, Fêsel Xelîl, Mihemd Xelîl and Kanîwar Xelîl have also been detained. They are charged with inciting racial and sectarian strife and are still in al-Qamishli prison.

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January 28, 2010 – On January 19, 2010, Xalid Mio Kenco fled across the border from Syria to Turkey illegally. He filed a petition for asylum at the UNHCR in Ankara, which is to be decided upon by April 7 of this year. Kenco is permitted to remain in Turkey until then:
In a telephone conversation with KurdWatch on January 28, 2010, Kenco stated that during his initial detention in al-Qamishli he was held in a solitary cell for seven days. The cell was so small that he was unable to stretch out to sleep. It was completely dark so that he could not tell the difference between his water bottle and the bottle he was given to urinate in. He was only allowed to leave his cell once a day to defecate. Members of the State Security interrogated him for a total of four days. During all of the interrogations, he was blindfolded and his hands were cuffed behind his back. He was berated and slapped, and his feet and other parts of his body were beaten with cables. He was also blindfolded, handcuffed and beaten during the ensuing two-day interrogation by the State Security in Damascus. A central question in these interrogations was whether he had taken part in a demonstration in Berlin on December 10, 2008 against the readmission agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Syria. In order to avoid further blows, Kenco ultimately admitted to having been a participant of the demonstration. In court he was again asked about his participation – however, at the time he denied it. He also replied in the negative to the question about a petition for asylum in Germany. One of Kenco’s attorneys had already informed us that Kenco’s participation in the demonstration on December 10, 2008 was the subject of the hearing on October 5, 2009.
On September 1, 2009, Xalid Mio Kenco had been deported from the Federal Republic of Germany to Syria, where he was detained and charged with knowingly spreading false or exaggerated information abroad, pursuant to Article 287 of the Criminal Code. His next hearing before the single military judge in al‑Qamishli is scheduled for February 8, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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February 12, 2010 – On February 10, 2010, the decision in the case of Mehmûd Zibêr Mehmûd, Zibêr Hesen Mehmûd and Ebdilwehab Şêxmûs el‑Faris was postponed until February 18, 2010 by the single military judge. For unknown reasons, the first two of the above-mentioned had not been brought to the hearing from al‑Qamishli prison, causing the postponement. The last of the above mentioned was no longer in custody at the time.
KurdWatch has information that Mehmûd Zibêr Mehmûd and Zibêr Hesen Mehmûd were subjected to torture at the criminal investigation departments in al‑Qamishli and al‑Hasakah during pre-trial custody. Mehmûd Zibêr Mehmûd was also tortured by members of the Political Security Directorate in al-Hasakah and Damascus (al‑Faihaʾ prison). Both men were repeatedly beaten and berated. The soles of their feet were beaten with metal cables (the so-called Falaqa method, bastinado). They were bound up, beaten on all parts of their bodies and tortured with electric shocks (the so-called »flying carpet«). Furthermore, Mehmûd Zibêr Mehmûd was hung by the neck from a ceiling ventilator and lost consciousness after a short time. [Further information on the case]

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February 13, 2010 – On February 9, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli postponed the decision in the case of Mihemed Selahedîn el‑Moso (b. 1985) until April 12, 2010. For unknown reasons, el‑Moso had not been brought to the hearing from al‑Qamishli prison, causing the postponement.
In 2002, former PKK militant el‑Moso left the PKK after a two year membership and returned to Syria from Iraq. He promised several families there that for a suitable fee he would bring their sons and daughters back to Syria from the Kandil Mountains (Kurdistan Iraq), the location of the PKK military bases. It later emerged that he had deceived the families. Consequently, members of the State Security in al‑Hasakah arrested him on August 23, 2009. Due to his earlier membership in the PKK, el‑Moso was charged with membership of an illegal party pursuant to Articles 307 and 308 of the Criminal Code. [Further information on the case]

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February 15, 2010 – On February 13, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli released Mehmûd Zibêr Mehmûd und Zibêr Hesen Mehmûd from custody. Their case remains pending before the military court. [Further information on the case]

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February 22, 2010 – On February 18, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli adjourned the case against Mehmûd Zibêr Mehmûd, Zibêr Hesen Mehmûd and Ebdilwehab Şêxmûs el Faris until March 1, 2010. Prior to this, he questioned them about the charges raised against them. [Further information on the case]

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March 13, 2010 – On March 9, 2010, members of the Syrian police prevented fans of Kurdish singer Mihemed Şêxo, who passed away in 1989, from visiting his grave at Hilaliya cemetery in al‑Qamishli. The commemoration ceremony was planned to mark the twenty‑first anniversary of the singer's death. Police also broke up a similar gathering last year.

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March 13, 2010 – On March 12, 2010 in al‑Qamishli, members of the Syrian police prevented representatives of Kurdish parties from visiting the graves of victims of the March 2004 riots. The Kurdish Political Council, founded on December 30, 2009 and comprised of representatives of eight Kurdish parties, had called for a visit to the cemetery in the district of Qudurbeg to mark the sixth anniversary of the outbreak of the riots. Most of the victims are buried here. When Kurdish Political Council members and other individuals tried to enter the cemetery, they were denied access. A speech was subsequently held at the entrance to the cemetery.
Syrian police also restrained citizens from entering the cemetery in al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik).

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March 30, 2010 – On March 12, 2010, members of the military secret service arrested Mihyedîn Ehmed Mehmûd (b. 1991, secondary school, final year), Egîd Înad Xelef (b. 1994, 9th grader), Mihemed Fewaz Xelef (b. 1991, secondary school, final year) and Mihemed Ebas Xelef (b. 1992, secondary school, final year) in the village of Xezna (al-Qamishli district). They were brought on the same day to the military secret service in al-Qamishli, where they were beaten and kicked.
On March 12, the anniversary of the March 2004 riots, members of the military secret service arrived in Xezna just as residents were preparing to hold a minute of silence to commemorate the victims. They shot into the air and demanded that the residents surrender the four pupils. Mihyedîn Ehmed Mehmûd, Egîd Înad Xelef, Mihemed Fewaz Xelef and Mihemed Ebas Xelef were accused of conspiring to set fire to the post office in Xezna.
Mihemed Ebas Xelef was released from custody on March 21, 2010. He was not in the village on March 12, but had been studying elsewhere for his school-leaving exams. Mihyedîn Ehmed Mehmûd, Egîd Înad Xelef and Mihemed Fewaz Xelef have been held by the military secret service in Damascus since March 22, 2010. On March 11, the three pupils, who are preparing for important exams, had lit candles in memory of the victims of the March 2004 riots. Kurdish parties in Syria have called out for this action since 2005.

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March 31, 2010 – Three months after their arrest, Hesen Ibrahîm Salih, Mihemed Ehmed Mistefa, Meerûf Mele Ehmed and Enwer Naso still have no contact with the outside world. The four members of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) are in the Political Security Directorate al-Faihaʾ prison in Damascus. Thus far neither attorneys nor family members have been allowed to visit the detainees. Only clothing is permitted to be sent to them. [Further information on the case]

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April 7, 2010 – On March 12, 2010, members of the State Security arrested Fatma Ehmed Hawul (b. 1976), a member of Yekîtiya Star, the women's organization of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and her driver, Besam Ebdilcelîl Şakir (b. 1982). Hawul and Şakir were on the road between al-Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî) and al-Qamishli when they were surprised by a State Security roadside check. When they attempted to drive around the checkpoint, members of the State Security gave chase. Hawul and Şakir are currently in the Political Security Directorate al-Faihaʾ prison in Damascus.

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March 30, 2010 – On March 28, 2010, members of the Political Security Directorate in al-Malikiyah (Dêrik) summoned and subsequently arrested Mehmûd Xelef Sefo (b. 1958, married, three children). Sefo is a member of the politburo of the Kurdish Left Party in Syria. On March 29, 2010, he was brought to the branch of the Political Security Directorate in al-Hasakah. Currently nothing is known about the reasons for his arrest.

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February 19, 2010 – On February 17, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli sentenced Elî Mihemed Meesûm Meemo (b. 1959), Salar Hisên Ehmed (b. 1990), Mihemed Newaf el‑Mihemed (b. 1991) and Bengî Şêx Mûsa Şêxmûs (b. 1978) to six months imprisonment pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. Pursuant to Article 288 of the Criminal Code, all four were additionally sentenced to three months imprisonment and a fine of 100 Syrian Lira for membership of an illegal association, the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Moreover, they must each pay fees and war surcharges of 9.75 Syrian Lira. Pursuant to Article 204 of the Criminal Code, the penalties were combined and the more severe penalty is to be carried out, resulting in six months imprisonment. Salar Hisên Ehmed, Mihemed Newaf el‑Mihemed and Bengî Şêx Mûsa Şêxmûs were sentenced in absentia.
As Elî Mihemed Meesûm Meemo has already spent six months and one day in prison – from January 19, 2009 to August 20, 2009 – his sentence is considered served. He will receive 10 Syrian Lira as compensation for the additional day of imprisonment. [Further information on the case]
Salar Hisên Ehmed and Bengî Şêx Mûsa Şêxmûs were detained from February 17, 2009 until May 17, 2009. They must therefore serve the remaining sentence of three months.
Mihemed Newaf el‑Mihemed was detained from February 18, 2009 until May 17, 2009 and must therefore serve the remaining sentence of three months and one day.
The verdicts may be appealed.

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February 24, 2010 – On February 18, 2010, the case of Welîd Mihemed Elî Hisên was adjourned by the single military judge in al‑Qamishli until March 23, 2010. Earlier, Hisên’s lawyer had made his concluding statement in response to the charges against his client. [Further information on the case]

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February 25, 2010 – On February 18, 2010, members of the State Security arrested Alan Ehmed Hisên (b. 1984) and Munteser Ehmed Xelef (b. 1977, stateless Kurd [Ajnabi]), in ʿAmudah. Flower shop owner Hisên ordered Kurdish lettering for a wedding bouquet from Xelef, who works in a computer store. Since the lettering was printed out from a computer and not handwritten, the above-mentioned were arrested and transferred to the State Security in al-Qamishli. Their fate is unknown.

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February 26, 2010 – With Presidential Decree No. 22, dated February 24, 2010, President Bashar al Asad granted amnesty to those who, prior to February 23, 2010, committed offenses punishable by up to three years in prison. However, explicitly excluded from this decree are all offences against Articles 307 and 308 of the Criminal Code. Since numerous Kurdish activists are prosecuted under these Articles, the number of Kurds indicted for political reasons who would otherwise benefit from the decree is limited. Only those accused of acts punishable by Article 288 of the Criminal Code are beneficiaries of the decree. Accordingly the following have been released from prison or proceedings against them have been terminated:
Mihemed Salih Xelîl [Further information on the case]
Fêsel Sebrî Neeso, Fener Cemîl Seedun, and Nesridîn Mihemed Berhik [Further information on the case]
Bahcad Elî Ibrahîm [Further information on the case]
Rojîn Cumaa Remo, Feleknaz Xelîl, Efra Musa Mihemed and Mihemed Xelîl Xelîl [Further information on the case]
Ehmed Ebdela Tacidîn, Mihemed Şerîf Silêman Mihemed, Fuad Murad Ehmed and Yasîn Mihemed Şêxmûs [Further information on the case]
Lokan Silêman Xidir, Idrîs Mihemed Mihemed, Rêwan Cemîl Cemîl and Enwer Ebdilrehman Elî [Further information on the case]
Fuad Elîko and Faris Xelîl Iniz [Further information on the case]

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February 26, 2010 – The military tribunal in Damascus adjourned Barzanî Kerro’s case until March 14, 2010. The court stated that it needed additional time to consider the plea. The verdict against Kerro, who remains in custody, is anticipated on March 14. [Further information on the case]

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March 26, 2010 – On March 23, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli awarded the student Welîd Mihemed Elî Hisên a one year prison sentence and a fine of 100 Syrian Lira pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. Charges of slandering the president and committing violations pursuant to Articles 374 and 378 were dropped. As the time spent in pre-trial custody from April 7, 2008 until April 11, 2009 is taken into account, the one-year prison sentence is considered served. The verdict may be appealed. [Further information on the case]

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March 24, 2010 – On March 22, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli postponed the decision in the case of Silêman Ebdilmecîd Oso, Îwan Ezîz Ebdela, Hevend Salih Hisên, Dilxwaz Zeynelabidîn Mihemed, Ebdilkerîm Mihemed Ebdo, Riyad Kemal Hopan, Eymen Salih el-Mehmûd, Bendewar Behrî Şêxê, Siwar Behrî Şêxê, Mesûd Ferhan Biro, Dilxwaz Mehmûd Derwîş, Reşo Mihemed Şerîf Mîxan, Riyad Mihemed Ehmed, Salar Barzan Ebdilrehman, Deham Hesen Şêxê, and Reşîd Remedan Osman until May 5, 2010. The defense had filed the motion to postpone, as not all witnesses were present. [Further information on the case]

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March 24, 2010 – On March 22, 2010, the third military judge in Aleppo sentenced Neşet Mistefa Henan to six months imprisonment pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. The term of imprisonment was reduced to five months due to mitigating circumstances. [Further information on the case]

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March 23, 2010 – On March 17, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli postponed a decision until April 28, 2010 in the case of the following people: Cemal Elî Seedun, Nîhad Hisên Yûsiv, Dijwar and Ciwan Munîr, Zahid Elî Yûsiv, Abdillatif Yaʿkub Malak, and Hozan Ibrahîm Mihemed Seîd. Prior to this the defense attorneys had filed their pleas before the court and witnesses had been questioned. [Further information on the case]

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March 21, 2010 – On March 17, 2010, members of the military police arrested Salar Mihemed Seîd Çolî (b. 1979) in ʿAmudah. From there he was brought to the military police in al-Qamishli. The day before his arrest, Salar Mihemed Seîd Çolî was released from custody by a decision of the military judge in Aleppo.
Members of the Political Security Directorate in ʿAmudah had arrested Çolî on September 12, 2009, and brought him into pre-trial custody in al-Hasakah. From there he was transferred to Damascus and then to Aleppo. Salar Mihemed Seîd Çolî was accused of membership of an illegal organization, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

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March 21, 2010 – On March 18, 2010, the third military judge in Aleppo sentenced Munîra Henan Hemo to six months imprisonment pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. Due to mitigating circumstances the term of imprisonment was reduced to five months. Hemo, a Democratic Union Party (PYD) activist, has been in custody since January 15, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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March 16, 2010 – On March 14, 2010, the military tribunal in Damascus sentenced Barzanî Kerro to five years imprisonment pursuant to Article 267 of the Criminal Code. Due to mitigating circumstances the sentence was reduced to two and a half years. The time spent in pre-trial custody will be deducted from the prison sentence. Additionally, Kerro's civil rights will be revoked. The verdict may be appealed. [Further information on the case]

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February 10, 2010 – On February 8, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli sentenced Xalid Mio Kenco to four months imprisonment and a fine of 80 Syrian Lira for knowingly spreading false or exaggerated information abroad, pursuant to Article 287 of the Criminal Code. As Kenco has already spent 113 days in prison, the remaining sentence to be served amounts to seven days. Due to Kenco’s failure to appear, his attorneys were refused entry at the pronouncement of the sentence. They declared they would appeal the decision. Xalid Mio Kenco has been a refugee in Turkey since January 19, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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February 15, 2010 – On February 14, 2010, the military tribunal in Damascus postponed the case of Barzanî Kerro until February 17, 2010. Deported from Cyprus in June 2009, Kerro was asked in a closed hearing about the charges raised against him pursuant to Article 267 of the Criminal Code. He denied all charges. His attorney’s defense is scheduled for the next day of trial. KurdWatch has information that Kerro was tortured while in pre-trial custody. The soles of his feet were beaten (the so-called Falaqa method, bastinado), leaving them numb for a week. Barzanî Kerro is remanded in custody. [Further information on the case]

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February 17, 2010 – On February 15, Hesen Ibrahîm Salih, Şahbaz Nezîr Umer and Siwar Şêxmûs were each awarded prison sentences by the single military judge in al‑Qamishli. Salih, a member of the politburo of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), was sentenced to one year imprisonment for membership of an illegal association pursuant to Article 288 as well as pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. The sentence was reduced to eight months due to mitigating circumstances. Şahbaz Nezîr Umer and Siwar Şêxmûs were each sentenced to six months imprisonment pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. Both sentences were reduced to four months due to mitigating circumstances. Umer and Şêxmûs, who were arrested on December 20, 2008 in al‑Qamishli for possession of Yekîtî publications, testified in court that they had received the publications in question from Hesen Ibrahîm Salih. Salih confirmed this in court. The verdict has been appealed. [Further information on the case]
While Umer and Şêxmûs are currently free, Hesen Ibrahîm Salih is still in custody in the al‑Faihaʾ prison of the Political Security Directorate in Damascus due to another matter. [Further information on the case]

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February 19, 2010 – On February 17, 2010, the military tribunal in Damascus adjourned the case of Barzanî Kerro until February 25, 2010, when a verdict against him is expected. Kerro is remanded in custody. [Further information on the case]

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March 11, 2010 – Nadîra Ebdo, a member of the human rights organization in Syria (MAF), was released from custody on March 6, 2010. She was accused of membership of an illegal organization. KurdWatch has received information since then that members of the Military Intelligence Service in Aleppo confiscated a computer, a laptop and numerous MAF declarations during the arrest of Nadîra Ebdo and her colleague, Ebdilhefîz Ebdilrehîm Ebdilrehman. Nothing is known about the whereabouts of Ebdilrehman. [More information on the case]

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March 3, 2010 – On March 1, 2010, at the request of the defense, the single military judge in al‑Qamishl adjourned the case of Mehmûd Zibêr Mehmûd, Zibêr Hesen Mehmûd, and Ebdilwehab Şêxmûs el Faris until March 9, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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March 8, 2010 – On March 2, 2010, members of the Military Intelligence Service in Aleppo arrested two members of the human rights organization in Syria (MAF), Ebdilhefîz Ebdilrehîm Ebdilrehman (b. 1965, married, ten children), and Nadîra Ebdo (b. 1982). The arrest was made in Ebdilhefîz Ebdilrehîm Ebdilrehman's apartment. An Arab human rights organization had earlier instructed the two aforementioned individuals to observe the Iraqi parliamentary elections in Syria – Iraqi exiles living in Syria are permitted to take part in the elections there. Nothing further is known about the fate of Ebdilrehman and Ebdo.

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March 10, 2010 – On March 9, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli sentenced Zibêr Hesen Mehmûd and his son, Mehmûd Zibêr Mehmûd, to six months imprisonment and a fine of 100 Syrian Lira, pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. Due to mitigating circumstances, the term of imprisonment was reduced to five months. Ebdilwehab Şêxmûs el-Faris, who was also charged, was acquitted. As Zibêr Hesen Mehmûd and his son have already spent five months and two days in custody, the sentence is considered served. The defense announced it would appeal the decision. [Further information on the case]

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March 10, 2010 – On March 9, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli adjourned the case of Welat Eyûb Mihemed and Selah Eyûb Mihemed until April 27, 2010. Both men are charged pursuant to Articles 288 and 307 of the Criminal Code.
On December 20, 2009, Welat and Selah Eyûb Mihemed were released from custody in al-Qamishli by decision of the prosecution in Aleppo, where they had been in custody since December 1 and 2, 2009, respectively. Prior to this the brothers were detained in al-Hasakah central prison.
KurdWatch has information that Welat Eyûb Mihemed was tortured while in pre-trial custody in al-Hasakah. According to this information, he was forced into a tire and beaten (the so-called Dulab method), and with his hands and feet bound to sit on an adjustable metal chair that bends the spine backwards (the so-called »German chair«).
The verdict against the brothers is expected on April 17. [More information on the case]

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February 1, 2010 – On January 15, 2010, members of the Political Security Directorate in Aleppo arrested Munîra Henan Hemo (b. 1967), married and mother of six children. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) activist was arrested during preparations for a celebration to mark the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Yekîtiya Star, the women’s organization of the PYD. Further information on the case is currently unavailable.

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February 2, 2010 – On January 20, 2010, Bedirxan Xelîl Ibrahîm (b. 1962) was arrested by the Political Security Directorate after answering a summons. Ibrahîm, a native of Al‑Malikiya (Dêrik), belongs to the group of stateless Kurds (ajanib). Further information on the case is currently unavailable.

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February 6, 2010 – On February 4, 2010, Cemal Seedun was released from custody by the single military judge in al‑Qamishli. During his four-month imprisonment, Seedun was tortured regularly with blows to the soles of his feet and now complains of severe pain. He declined to talk about other forms of torture. His trial is still pending before the military court. [Further information on the case]

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February 26, 2010 – Attorney and human rights activist Redîf Enwer Mistefa (b. 1967) has been refused exit from Syria. Mistefa, chairman of the Kurdish Committee for Human Rights in Syria (al-Rasid) and coordinator of the Syrian Coalition Against the Death Penalty, had applied for an exit permit in order to attend a convention on the death penalty in Geneva at the end of February 2010. KurdWatch has information that the Political Security Directorate and the State Security in Aleppo are responsible for the ban on his leaving the country. For the past three years, Mistefa has had to petition regularly for permission to exit if he wants to leave Syria. All of his petitions have been denied thus far.

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February 1, 2010 – On January 31, 2010, the single military judge in al-Qamishli postponed his decision on the case of Welîd Mihemed Elî Hisên until February 22, 2010. Hisên, a student and member of the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî), was arrested on March 7, 2008. [Further information on the case]

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January 26, 2010 – Mehmûd Zibêr Mehmûd, Zibêr Hesen Mehmûd and Ebdilwehab Şêxmûs el‑Faris are to appear before the single military judge in al‑Qamishli on February 10, 2010. After their arrest on September 11, 2009, during which party publications of Dr. Ebdilhekîm Beşar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî) were secured, they were transferred to the Political Security Directorate prison in al‑Haskah on September 14. On December 16, they were brought before the military prosecution in Damascus. Since the latter stated it was not responsible, the above-named individuals were transferred on the same day to the military prosecution in Aleppo, where they were interrogated on December 20. Following interrogation, Ebdilwehab Şêxmûs el‑Faris was released. On December 22, all three individuals were charged with possession of party publications pursuant to Article 307 of the Criminal Code. Mehmûd Zibêr Mehmûd and his father, Zibêr Hesen Mehmûd, are remanded in custody in Aleppo’s central prison. [Further information on the case]

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January 26, 2010 – Mihemed Selahedîn el‑Moso is to appear before the single military judge in al‑Qamishli on February 9, 2010. Members of the State Security in al-Hasakah arrested El‑Moso on August 23, 2009. He was brought before the first prosecuting attorney in Damascus on September 16, 2009, and before the military prosecution in Aleppo on December 20, 2009. The latter charged him with membership of an illegal party – the PKK – pursuant to Articles 307 and 308 of the Criminal Code. Mihemed Selahedîn el‑Moso is currently in Aleppo’s central prison.

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January 22, 2010 – On January 20, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli released Dijwar and Ciwan Munîr Ebdela as well as Nîhad Hisên Yûsiv from custody. The singer Cemal Elî Seedun was remanded in custody. Proceedings against the above-named individuals are still pending before the court. [Further information on the case]

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January 21, 2010 – On January 19, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli released Bahcad Elî Ibrahîm from custody. Ibrahîm was arrested on October 20, 2009 in ʿAmudah. An official of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (Democratic Yekîtî), he is accused of membership of an illegal political organization. His next hearing is scheduled for March 19, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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January 19, 2010 – The Islamic scholar Şêx Ebdilrezaq Cengo is free again. He was released from custody in Damascus on January 17, 2010. On January 1, 2010, members of the Air Force Intelligence Service arrested Cengo at Aleppo airport and later brought him to Damascus. To date, nothing is known about the reason for his arrest. [Further information on the case]

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January 18, 2010 – On January 17, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli sentenced Ramî Şêxmûs el‑Hesen, Xelîl Ibrahîm Mihemed, Mihemed Şêxo Îsa, and Ebdilselam Şêxmûs Mehmûd to six months imprisonment for inciting sectarian resentment. Ebdilselam Şêxmûs Mehmûd and Ramî Şêxmûs el‑Hesen were each additionally sentenced to one month imprisonment and a fine of one hundred Syrian liras for disturbing the peace. The sentences imposed on Mehmûd and el‑Hesen were combined — the more severe penalty is to be carried out — and reduced to three and a half months due to mitigating circumstances. Xelîl Ibrahîm Mihemed and Mihemed Şêxo Îsa’s sentences were also reduced due to mitigating circumstances, in their case to three months. The verdict may be appealed. [Further information on the case]

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January 18, 2010 – On January 6, 2010, The Political Security Directorate summoned Esma Murad Samî (b. 1960) to the al‑Faihaʾ prison in Damascus, where she was arrested. This is the second arrest within a short period. Members of the Political Security Directorate in al‑Hasakah had arrested Samî and her sister Eyhan Murad Samî on August 16, 2009. They were released on September 17. The case of the two sisters remains pending before the court. [Further information on the case]

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January 18, 2010 – On January 17, 2010, the single military judge in al‑Qamishli postponed numerous decisions:
The decision in the case of Silêman Ebdilmecîd Oso [further information on the case], Îwan Ezîz Ebdela, Hevend Salih Hisên, Dilxwaz Zeynelabidîn Mihemed, Ebdilkerîm Mihemed Ebdo, Riyad Kemal Hopan, Eymen Salih el‑Mehmûd, Bendewar Behrî Şêxê, Siwar Behrî Şêxê, Mesûd Ferhan Biro, Dilxwaz Mehmûd Derwîş, Reşo Mihemed Şerîf Mîxan, Riyad Mihemed Ehmed, Salar Barzan Ebdilrehman, Deham Hesen Şêxê, and Reşîd Remedan Osman [further information on the case] was postponed until March 22, 2010.
The decision in the case of Bahcad Elî Ibrahîm was postponed until March 19, 2010. Ibrahîm is charged with membership of an illegal organization and remanded in custody. [Further information on the case]
The decision in the case of Rojîn Cumaa Remo was postponed until March 18, 2010. As the defendant does not speak Arabic, she is to be provided with a Kurdish interpreter at the next hearing. [Further information on the case]
The decision in the case of Feleknaz Xelîl, Efra Musa Mihemed, and Mihemed Xelîl Xelîl was postponed until January 22, 2010. [Further information on the case]
The decision in the case of Cemal Elî Seedun, Nîhad Hisên Yûsiv, Dijwar and Ciwan Munîr Ebdela, Zahid Elî Yûsiv, Abdillatif Yaʿkub Malak, and Hozan Ibrahîm Mihemed Seîd was postponed until March 17, 2010. Cemal Elî Seedun, Nîhad Hisên Yûsiv, Dijwar, and Ciwan Munîr Ebdela are remanded in custody in al‑Qamishli. The rest were released from custody on October 10, 2009. The detainee Cemal Elî Seedun suffers from severe back pain. [Further information on the case]
The decision in the case of Ehmed Ebdela Tacidîn, Mihemed Şerîf Silêman Mihemed, Fuad Murad Ehmed, and Yasîn Mihemed Şêxmûs was postponed until February 4, 2010. [Further information on the case]
The decision in the case of Elî Mihemed Meesûm Meemo was postponed until February 4, 2010. [Further information on the case]

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January 4, 2010 – Xalid Mio Kenco was released from custody on January 3, 2010 by the single military judge in al‑Qamishli. The final decision on his case is still pending. [Further information on the case]

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January 8, 2010 – On January 1, 2010, members of the Air Force Intelligence arrested Şêx Ebdilrezaq Cengo (b. 1948) at Aleppo airport, where he was waiting for a flight to join relatives in the United Arab Emirates. Cengo had previously taught Islamic Studies in al‑Qamishli and the United Arab Emirates. He is considered a liberal Islamic scholar. His current whereabouts are unknown.

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January 14, 2010 – On January 12, 2010, the single military judge in Aleppo released Lokan Silêman Xidir (b. 1980, married, one daughter) and Idrîs Mihemed Mihemed (b. 1983) from custody. On August 10, 2009, members of the State Security had arrested the above-named individuals in al‑Qamishli, along with Rêwan Cemîl Cemîl (b. 1985, married, one son) and Enwer Ebdilrehman Elî (b. 1977, married, three children). The arrests took place after PKK slogans were painted on walls by unknown persons. While in custody in al‑Qamishli, at least one of the detainees was tortured with blows to the soles of the feet (the so‑called Falaqa method). Ten days after their arrest, the four supporters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) were brought to the Political Security Directorate’s al‑Faihaʾ prison in Damascus. They remained in custody there for twenty days before being transferred to ʿAdra prison, also in Damascus. On January 10, 2010, their case was referred to the military prosecution in Aleppo. The four detainees were also transferred to Aleppo. They were charged with membership of an illegal organization pursuant to Article 288 of the Criminal Code. The organization concerned is the Democratic Youth Movement, the youth organization of the PYD. Rêwan Cemîl Cemîl and Enwer Ebdilrehman Elî are still in custody.

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