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IDHAE World  Globebservatory for Defence Rights and attacks against lawyers


Kurdish lawyer Mustafa Ismail was arrested on 12 December in the northern city of Aleppo , and has been held incommunicado since then, for unknown reasons, Syrian rights groups reported . 

Mustafa Ismail, who writes about the treatment of Kurds in Syria and Turkey for a number of foreign-based websites, was detained when he went to the Air Force Security Branch in the northern city of Aleppo, in response to an order from the local security office in his home town of Ain Arab. His family went to the same Air Force Security Branch on 17 December to find out what had happened to him, but they were told that he was not there and they were ordered to leave.

The day before he was detained Mustafa Ismail had posted an article on the London-based Levant News website, in which he said he had been ordered to go to the Air Force Security Branch in Aleppo, commenting that he could “easily get into the Guinness Book of Records” because of the number of times that he had been summoned to report to security offices since 2000.

"We express our deep concern over this measure which is contrary to human rights," said the statement signed by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,www.ekurd.netthe National Organisation of Human Rights in Syria and the Syrian League for the Defence of Human Rights.

Human Rights Watch issued a damning report of Syria's handling of its Kurdish minority in November, accusing Damascus of being "especially hostile to any Kurdish political or cultural expression."

The New York-based watchdog also documented the arrests and trials of at least 15 prominent Syrian Kurdish political leaders since 2005.

More than 2 million Kurds live in Syria, comprising nine percent of the population. They have long sought official recognition of the Kurdish language and culture.

The Kurds live in Syria (Syrian Kurdistan), mainly in the north bordering Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan region. They comprise nine percent of the population and have long sought official recognition of the Kurdish language and their culture.

Future Movement advocates democracy and equal rights for Syria's one million Kurdish minority. The Kurdish language is not allowed to be taught in schools and tens of thousands of Kurds were denied citizenship after a 1960s census.

Freedom of expression remains tightly controlled in Syria, and security forces have sweeping powers of arrest and detention.


PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Arabic, English, French or your own language:

-Expressing concern that Mustafa Ismail has been held incommunicado at an unknown location since 12 December, putting him at risk of torture and other ill-treatment;

-Calling on the authorities to ensure that he is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and reminding them that Syria is a state party to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

-Urging them to allow him, immediately, visits from his family, a lawyer of his choosing, and any medical attention he may require;

-Calling on them to release Mustafa Ismail unless he is to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and tried promptly in proceedings which meet international fair trial standards.


(see sample letter below)

Bashar al-Assad
Presidential Palace
al-Rashid Street
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: +963 11 332 3410
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Interior
Major Sa’id Mohamed Samour
Ministry of Interior
‘Abd al-Rahman Shahbandar Street
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: +963 11 222 3428
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Walid al-Mu’allim
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
al-Rashid Street
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: +963 11 332 7620
Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country
Ambassade de la République arabe syrienne


[Your name here]



Your Excellency,


As a lawyer I have been informed that   Mr. Mustafa Ismail, has

reportedly been detained on 12 December 2009 in Aleppo. His arrest has caused great concern among lawyers worldwide.


I am concerned that he is being held incommunicado, putting him at risk of torure and other kinds of ill-treatment. I urge you to provide immediate guarantees that Mr. Mustafa Ismail will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated.


Furthermore I would like to point out that Mr. Mustafa Ismail is a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for the peaceful expression of his opinions in line with his fundamental human rights to freedom of expression. I call on you to release him immediately and unconditionally.


It is my hope that Your Excellency will ensure that all civil society activists in Syria would be able to conduct their peaceful and legitimate activities without fear of detention, torture or ill-treatment or other human rights violations.


I wish to underline that Mr. Mustafa Ismail has the right to immediate and unrestricted access to his family, a lawyer, and any medical treatment he may need.


I hope that you will take this request into consideration.










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