A large percentage of the Kurdish population mistrusts the promises made by the Syrian regime under Baschar al-Assad. As the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) reported on Monday, not only the opposition but also the majority of the roughly two million Kurds in Syria believe that the announcement that the state of emergency will soon be lifted is nothing more than window-dressing.
 
"The regime is proving its lack of credibility once again with its continuing brutal police actions. Even though Assad gave assurances – following the bloodbath in the southern city of Daraa on 23 March – that his security forces would no longer shoot at peaceful demonstrators, the shooting has long since started again in Daraa, Damascus and Latakia,"
said the STP founder Tilman Zülch. "Nobody believes Assad’s promise last Sunday to release 260 political prisoners, either, since on the same day he said this, more arbitrary arrests were made in the Idlib province in the north. Furthermore, not one of the roughly 3000 political prisoners in Syria been released."
 
The Kurds have been waiting for Assad to make good on his promises since he was sworn in on 17 July 2000. Back then, the dictator claimed he would "solve" the "problem" of "stateless Kurds." The Ba’ath party already announced in 2005 that the state of emergency would be lifted.
 
Of the roughly two million Kurds living in three regions that border on Turkey and make up the majorities there, some 300,000 have had their Syrian citizenship revoked. They were expatriated as part of the massive Arabization policy introduced in 1962, and have no rights. Anyone who tries to claim any rights is at risk of being abducted and murdered, or arbitrarily put in prison for many years.
 
At least 600 of the 3000 political prisoners in Syrian jails are Kurds.
Hygiene conditions in the prisons are catastrophic, the medical care is totally inadequate, and torture is a daily occurrence. Many prisoners die from the physical abuse. Of those who survive, many suffer from the physical and psychological effects of the abuses for the rest of their lives.

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