|UN Committee to Assess Syria's Human Rights Record|
The United Nations Human Rights Committee is expected to give its official concluding observations and recommendations on the compliance of the Arab Republic of Syria with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on 29 July 2005.
The Committee is expected to identify concerns and to make recommendations for action, especially concerning the impact of the state of emergency on human rights. It is likely to express concern about the practice of torture and ill-treatment in prisons and related state security divisions, and the impunity of perpetrators.
KHRP urges the Syrian Government to take the following measures as a matter of priority:
- To formally lift the State of Emergency Legislation (SEL) that is inconsistent with human rights law, including Article 4 of the ICCPR;
- To amend legislation on nationality and resolve the statelessness of Syrian-born Kurds, and to end all accompanying discrimination against stateless Kurds in the fields of education, health care, freedom of movement, employment, right to family life and property ownership;
- To end the prohibitions on the use of the Kurdish language in education, the workplace, official establishments, private celebrations, and allow children to be registered with Kurdish names and businesses to carry Kurdish names;
- To ensure that legislation, under which prisoners of conscience have been imprisoned, be brought in line with Articles 18 to 22 of the ICCPR; guaranteeing the right to freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and association and the right to exercise these freedoms without undue interference.
Kerim Yildiz, Executive Director of Kurdish Human Rights Project, says, "It is time for the Syrian authorities to amend discriminatory legislation that prevents thousands of Kurds in Syria from marrying, working, obtaining travel documents or even speaking their language freely. The state of emergency legislation and imposed statelessness on Syrian-born Kurds cannot continue indefinitely."