Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, May 16, 2008

Newroz crackdowns in Syria highlight discrimination against Kurds

In a recent piece for Omedia, Nir Boms and Elliot Chodoff use the case of a Syrian journalist shot in the head as security forces cracked down on Kurdish New Year, or Newroz, celebrations in late March to illustrate the plight of the Kurds in the region.

Boms and Chodoff note that Syrian security forces used “water hoses and tear gas to disperse Kurdish celebrators” during Newroz. Underlying all of this, the article says, is the state’s persecution of the Kurds. Boms and Chodoff cite the findings of the most recent U.S. State Department human rights report, saying that, in Syria, “Kurds are restricted in speaking and teaching the Kurdish language, and security services subjected Kurdish citizens to mass arrests throughout the year.” The article also notes that some 300,000 of Syria’s 1.5 million Kurds “are considered stateless foreigners and are denied Syrian nationality along with the right to vote, own property, go to state schools, or attain government jobs.”

For the article, click here.


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