Sham Trial of Five Kurds Resumes in Syria


The trial of five Kurds resumed this past Tuesday in Syria’s Supreme State Security Court (SSSC). The five, Monzer Resho, Gewan Mohammed Ahmed, Hassan Khalil Qiddo, Khalil Dahli and Mannan Ahmed Sido were arrested in 2008 and held almost in complete isolation ever since. They are charged with membership in the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish party that is outlawed in Syria, and using violence in a rally held on February 15, 2008 to commemorate the anniversary of the arrest of PKK leader, Abdullah Öcalan.

Amnesty International stated last week that the SSSC, “is neither independent nor impartial and it does not operate in accordance with international standards of fair trial. It should be abolished without further ado.” Convictions in the SSSC are often made on the basis of confessions made under torture, after the defendants are held incommunicado for long periods of time in Syrian jails without access to their lawyers.

There are currently over 150 Kurdish political prisoners in Syria.