The relatives of the Syrian Kurdish journalist Emjad Osman have appealed urgently for help to the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) in
Göttingen. They telephoned the human rights organisation on Friday, saying that it is now two months – 17^th May 2009 – since the young man
disappeared without a trace. The GfbV fears the worst, for Emhad Osman published the illegal magazine “Hogir” in Kurdish in the town of
Kamishli in the far north-east of Syria. He has for this reason been arrested on many occasions by the Syrian security forces. In an attempt
to throw light on the fate of the young journalist the human rights organisation has written to the Syrian government with the request that
they provide information on the whereabouts of Emjad Osman.
The GfbV is very concerned about the young journalist Emjad Osman since he could have suffered the same fate as the Syrian Kurdish cleric Mashuk Al Khznawi. This man was found dead in May 2005 after being abducted some weeks before. Khznawi was reported to have been abducted and murdered by criminals. However his corpse showed clear signs of torture.
In Syria at least 150 Kurds are being held in prison as political prisoners. The GfbV has the names of 122 Kurds who are being held for
reasons of conscience. The Syrian Kurds, numbering some two million, who live along the Turkish border in the north of the country, making up the majority of the population, are to the present day being discriminated or suppressed. They are denied rights of language and culture. In 1962 300,000 Kurds were deprived of their Syrian citizenship during the large-scale policy of Arabification. The GfbV has been calling for the
restoration of their citizenship.