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Amnesty says Kurds trial in Syria a farce
Amnesty says Kurds trial in Syria a farce
The trial of five members of the Kurdish minority in Syria began again on Tuesday amidst much international rights groups’ frustration. London-based Amnesty International called on Syria’s Supreme State Security Court to be abolished in light of what the group called a “parody of justice.”
Thursday, December 17,2009 17:34
BM&Ikhwanweb

 CAIRO: The trial of five members of the Kurdish minority in Syria began again on Tuesday amidst much international rights groups’ frustration. London-based Amnesty International called on Syria’s Supreme State Security Court to be abolished in light of what the group called a “parody of justice.”

The Kurds are accused of belonging to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), an unauthorized political party allegedly identifying with Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Damascus has said this part is illegal and espouses a violent agenda. The Kurds are also accused of using violence at a February 15 rally in Aleppo, in northern Syria, to commemorate the anniversary of the arrest of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkish security forces.

“The trial is likely to be a parody of justice as the SSSC has shown itself to be grossly unsatisfactory as a court of law,” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. “It is neither independent nor impartial and it does not operate in accordance with international standards of fair trial. It should be abolished without further ado.”

Amnesty said that the five defendants are reported to “have been held incommunicado for long periods following their arrests in 2008. Amnesty International has learnt that at least one defendant did not see his family for one year after being taken into detention.”

The Kurds are suspected of being tortured and abused during their detention, which Amnesty said is “systematic” in the country and likely a result of their wrongful imprisonment.

The mother of one of the five is reported to have overheard one guard tell another that her son was being subjected to the “flying carpet” torture method, in which the victim’s hands and feet are strapped to a piece of wood and he is then beaten and kicked.

“The SSSC has shown no interest in upholding defendants’ rights to defence and to fair trial,” said Malcolm Smart. “It has failed to order investigations into torture allegations or to stand up to the security authorities, and it has lost all credibility. It should be closed down and those accused of political and other crimes should be guaranteed fair trials and protected from torture and other abuse.”

The five Kurds on trial are Monzer Resho, aged 16 at the time of his arrest in 2008, Gewan Mohammed Ahmed, Hassan Khalil Qiddo, Khalil Dahli and Mannan Ahmed Sido.

tags: Syria / Amnesty / Kurdish Minority / Kurds / PKK / Aleppo / Middle East / Amnesty International / Syrian Regime / Human Rights in Syria
Posted in Democracy , Human Rights , Torture  
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