The Syrian Kurdish human rights worker Mashal Tamo is threatened with
life imprisonment and hard labour according to information received by
the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV). In accordance with Paragraph
298 of the Syrian constitution he will be sentenced to this hard
punishment if the court in Damascus finds him guilty of trying to start
a civil war.
"But the charges which are being brought against our correspondent are
absurd! Mashal Tamo categorically rejects all forms of violence in
solving political questions", said the GfbV Near-east consultant, Kamal
Sido, on Monday. It seems clear that the courageous human rights expert
is to be silenced. The father of six children has been reporting
regularly to the GfbV on the situation of the Kurds in Syria. It is also
being held against him that he has weakened and damaged the authority of
the state and the national identity, which is tantamount to an
infringement of Paragraph 285.
Mashal Tamo was taken away in the night of 14th – 15th August 2008 in
the town of al-Arab in the north of Syria by a patrol of the Syrian
secret service. His relatives were refused any information as to his
whereabouts for several days and his private car was confiscated.
The GfbV was finally able to establish that the human rights worker is
being held in the al-Adra prison near Damascus in a cell with criminals.
Beforehand the GfbV had alarmed the German Foreign Minister,
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and his French colleague, Bernard Kouchner, and
all EU and West-European embassies in Damascus with the request that
they take measures to help Tamo. The human rights organisation also
wrote to the Syrian President, Al-Assad, and his ministers for defence,
justice and foreign affairs with the appeal that Tamo’s whereabouts be
announced and that he be released. The GfbV representative at the United
Nations likewise made a request for his release to the representative of
the Syrian Arab Republic in New York
For further information and interviews please approach the GfbV
Near-east expert, Dr. Kamal Sido, at tel. ++49 (0) 551 49906-18
Für Menschenrechte. Weltweit.
Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker / Society for Threatened Peoples
P.O. Box 20 24 – D-37010 Göttingen/Germany
Nahostreferat/ Middle East Desk
Dr. Kamal Sido – Tel: +49 (0) 551 49906-18 – Fax: +49 (0) 551 58028
E-Mail: [email protected] – www.gfbv.de