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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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Kurdish Politician Tortured to Death in Syria

Kurdish Human Rights Project has just received information that former Kurdish politician Osman Mihemed Silêman Hecî, who had served as a Syrian MP between 1991 and 2007 died in hospital yesterday following several months of torture and ill treatment in prison.

Mr Hecî was arrested on 27 November 2007 and had been in prison ever since, suffering torture and ill treatment at the hands of Syrian police. On 22 January 2008 he was taken to El Kindi Hospital by Syrian officials and registered with the name of Eli Ehmed to hide his real identity. He died of his injuries there yesterday.

Mr Hecî is one of countless Syrian Kurds who suffer arbitrary detention and torture at the hands of Syrian officials. Syria’s Kurdish region is kept deliberately economically isolated both from the rest of Syria, and other Kurdish-inhabited regions. Around a million Kurds have been stripped of citizenship and therefore unable to travel or access basic services. Arrests and violence in Syria’s Kurdish regions have been particularly common in recent months due to Syrian Kurdish opposition to Turkey’s military operations in Kurdistan Iraq, operations which Syria vocally supported.

In response to today’s news KHRP Executive Director Kerim Yildiz stated: “Kurds are disenfranchised, arbitrarily arrested, tortured and killed with a shocking degree of impunity in Syria. That even a long-serving and respected member of parliament such as Mr Hecî can suffer such a fate demonstrates that Syria cares little even to hide such outrageous conduct.  KHRP calls on the international community to unreservedly condemn this killing and to put the necessary pressure on Syria to enfranchise its Kurdish population and to respect the human rights of all its citizens”.