GfbV: Kurdish rights activist threatened with life imprisonment or death in Syria


The Society for Threatened Peoples, Göttingen, reports:

Society for Threatened Peoples asks EU foreign ministers for help: Court case against Mashal Tamo must be closed!

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 Wednesday.

“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 him.

Für Menschenrechte. Weltweit.

Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker / Society for Threatened Peoples

P.O. Box 20 24 РD-37010 G̦ttingen/Germany

Nahostreferat/ Middle East Desk

Dr. Kamal Sido – Tel: +49 (0) 551 49906-18 – Fax: +49 (0) 551 58028

E-Mail: [email protected] –