With an urgent request for help the Society for Threatened Peoples
(GfbV) wrote on Monday to the  EU foreign ministers asking for help for
a Kurdish human rights activist who is in custody in Syria.  Mashal Tamo
is faced with lifelong imprisonment with hard labour or indeed the death
penalty according to §289 of the Syrian penal code. The father of six
has regularly provided the GfbV with information on the human rights
situation in Syria. A court in Damascus is to decide on his fate on
"It is clear that Mashal Tamo is to be silenced, for, although he has
always worked for human rights using non-violent and democratic means,
he is being accused out of the blue with trying to provoke a civil war",
says the letter of the Chair of the German section of the GfbV, Tilman
Zülch, to the foreign ministers. "There is absolutely no basis for the
charges. Please give protection to this brave Kurd and bring pressure to
bear on the Syrian government to close the case against him."
Mashal Tamo is the leader of the Kurdish liberation movement. He was
taken off by a patrol of the secret service in the night of 14th – 15th
August 2008 in the town of Ain al-Arab in the north of Syria. His family
was for weeks refused any information on his whereabouts. It was only
after the GfbV approached international institutions and the foreign
offices of democratic states that the Syrian authorities stated where
Mashal Tamo was being held. Shortly afterwards charges were laid against
If you have questions on the above please contact the Chair of the
German section of the GfbV, Tilman Zülch, at tel. ++49 (0)151 153 09 888.