AFP: Head of Kurdish political party arrested for comments says rights group


The Agence France-Presse reports on a statement by the National Organization of Human Rights in Syria regarding the recent arrest of a pro-Kurdish political party chief. Mohammed Mussa was arrested in Syria under special emergency laws after expressing his party’s views to the Arab media.

Damascus (AFP) – The head of a banned Kurdish political group has been arrested by the Syrian security services under emergency laws, a human rights group said Monday.

“The military security services in Damascus arrested Mohammed Mussa, secretary general of the Kurdish Left Party on Saturday,” the National Organization of Human Rights in Syria, or NOHRS, said in a statement.

Mussa was arrested and questioned previously by security services in Hassake, northeastern Syria because of “his party’s activities and his comments to the Arab media,” NOHRS said.

The group branded his detention as unconstitutional because he was arrested under “emergency powers which have been in place in Syria for 45 years,” rather than by judicial authorities. Syrian authorities should release Mussa immediately and abandon the emergency powers under which they are making arrests, the group said.

Mussa’s party also called for their leader’s release, saying, “Mohammed Mussa is a nationalist who defends the interests and the legitimate rights of the Kurdish people as well as those of all the Syrian people.”

The majority of Syria’s 1.5 million Kurds live in the north of the country. There are 11 unauthorized Kurdish political parties in Syria, independent observers say.

Syrian Kurdish officials deny claims they aim to establish a separate state and say they only want political rights and recognition of their language and culture.