국제앰네스티는 약 2년간 구금 중인 쿠르드족 남성을 석방하든지 아니면 기소할 것을 시리아 당국에 요청했다.망명 중인 쿠르드족 활동가들은 시리아 보안국이 압델바키 칼라프(‘Abdelbaqi Khalaf)를 고문했을 가능성이 있다는 우려를 제기했다.
정치 활동가인 압델바키 칼라프는 몇 주에 한번 다마스커스(Damascus) 중앙 교도소에서 보안국으로 이송돼 2008년 초 시리아 북동지역 카미실리(Qamishily) 시에서 발생한 시리아 보안 요원 살해 사건에 대해 자백”할 것을 강요당하고 있다고 한다. 카라프는 이 혐의를 부인하고 있다.
국제앰네스티 필립 루터(Philip Luther) 중동 및 북아프리카 부국장은 “우리는 범죄를 저지르지 않았다고 말하는 데도 자백을 강요할 목적으로 시리아 보안 요원이 압델바키 카라프를 반복적으로 고문하고 있다는 보고에 심각한 우려를 표한다”며 “시리아 당국은 이 혐의에 대해 즉시 독립적이고 공정한 수사에 착수하고 범인에게 사법적 정의를 담보해야 한다”고 말했다.
Fears grow for Kurdish man held in Syrian custody
6 August 2010
Amnesty International is urging the Syrian authorities to release or charge a Kurdish man who has been detained for almost two years.
Reports from exiled Kurdish activists have raised fears that ‘Abdelbaqi Khalaf has been tortured at the hands of State Security.
The political activist is reportedly being taken from Damascus Central prison to a State Security office every few weeks to coerce him into “confessing” to the killings of two Syrian security agents in the north-eastern city of Qamishily in early 2008, a crime he denies committing.
“We are seriously concerned about reports that ‘Abdelbaqi Khalaf has been repeatedly tortured under questioning by State Security agents in an attempt to force him to confess to a crime that he says he did not commit,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“These allegations must be independently and impartially investigated without delay and those identified as responsible brought to justice.”
Previously a member of the Syrian Kurdish political party known as the Popular Union (Ittihad al-Sha’b), ‘Abdelbaqi Khalaf had helped establish a clandestine library of Kurdish-language books, which are banned in Syria – a country where Kurds face discrimination and where Kurdish civil society activists risk arbitrary arrest, torture and unlawful imprisonment.
‘Abdelbaqi Khalaf has been refused access to a lawyer and his family was on one occasion prevented from visiting him, allegedly because he had been tortured and was not in a fit state to be seen.
“‘Abdelbaqi Khalaf must be allowed immediate access to a lawyer of his own choosing and any medical attention he may require,” said Philip Luther.
Masked men abducted ‘Abdelbaqi Khalaf as he was closing his clothing store in Qamishily in September 2008 after he told friends that he believed security agents were monitoring his movements.
Until early 2010, the activist was held incommunicado at an unknown location, where he was reportedly hanged by his wrists and shackled to a wall for the first eight days of detention.
Torture and other ill-treatment are widely carried out in detention and interrogation centres in Syria where four deaths as a possible result of torture have been reported in the last two months.
Dozens of Kurds have been detained over the killings of the security agents, including brothers Munther, Nedal and Riad Ahmed, who were arrested after they discussed with other Kurdish activists setting up an organization to promote Kurdish culture through books on Kurdish issues.
The brothers also ran an unofficial library that was supported by ‘Abdelbaqi Khalaf and lent books on Kurdish issues, as well as printing works by Kurdish writers who had been refused publication elsewhere.
Kurdish language and culture suffer severe restrictions in Syria, where publishing and printing materials in Kurdish as well as teaching the language are forbidden and punishable by imprisonment.
Many Kurds are denied Syrian nationality, depriving them of education, employment, health care and other rights enjoyed by Syrian nationals. Those connected with Kurdish political parties or groups that raise concerns about the discrimination against Kurds, risk arbitrary arrest, torture and imprisonment after unfair trials.