It has been a constant practice since 1963 for the Syrian authorities to deprive a huge number of Syrian Kurds of their civil rights, these being guaranteed by all the Syrian Cannons since independence and up until the latest Cannon of 1973.
If we look carefully, we find that the justifications given by those behind these contradictory policies, act in favour of some specific groups while denying others of their basic rights. In fact, these policies act only to segregate Syrians according to their ethnicity, religions and culture.
Syria has always known its Kurds to be loyal. They fought for the country and have always contributed to its advancement, so why are they being punished on account of their being Kurds?
The late Syrian president was obviously very harsh with a wide variety of citizens. He was suppressive, violent, and denied rights to a huge number of citizens. He sentenced whole groups of people to death simply because of their political opinions, religion or ethnic origins. These policies contradicted the Syrian Cannon in fact and in law. They also contradict all the international Charters and treaties especially the International Declaration of Human Rights as well as the rest of the United Nations’ Charters. This is why there are tens of thousands of Syrians who, deprived of ID cards, passports and legal citizenship status, subsequently have had to migrate and seek refuge in other countries around the world.
Many of the most bizarre cases that the Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) has come across recently has been the huge number of Syrian Kurds who were deprived their Syrian nationality. Some of them had the subsequent issue of ID cards refused after they did their obligatory military service. Rather, they were considered foreigners. Some young women and men applied for national examinations (equivalent to A level) but after they passed their exams they were denied any official documentation and considered as non-Syrian nationals. Many of these cases were recently reported to the SHRC. This confirms that this institutional policy of denying the Syrian Kurds their nationality is still in practice and has not eased under the current Syrian president and his government.
SHRC does not have precise data concerning those who have been deprived of their civil rights and nationality, yet it is certain that there are ten of thousands of such cases.
SHRC believes that any resolution cannot take place unless there is real freedom, a multiplicity of constructive political parties, and democracy. It is also important to protect civil rights by a fair legal system which functions independently from the security and intelligence bodies which have overwhelmed everything in Syria throughout the last 40 years.
In consequence, the SHRC is demanding that the Syrian president, the Syrian Minister of the Interior, and all others concerned , should stop these injustices against Syrian Kurds and all other Syrians. We also demand that the Syrian Cannon be applied and International Charters adhered to, especially those to which the Syrian government has already announced its commitment. Finally, SHRC is demanding that the Syrian government should stop forcing thousands of Syrians to flee their home country, and to rehabilitate all those denied their right to stay in their homeland or who have had their legal status removed.
Appendix No. 1: a recent promulgation from the Minister of the Interior
We emphasise the carrying out of the content of what you have been instructed with regard to investigating the cases of lost ID cards especially the promulgation No. 337 dated 15/7/1998 and the constant decree No. 4221/ (an Arabic letter) dated 2/10/1982. You are requested to do the following:
To conduct an immediate investigation once a fellow citizen makes an allegation of a lost ID card. This should be done as quickly as possible so that the citizen is able to get the replacement as soon as possible.
An in-depth investigation is obligatory in addition to a thorough investigation on whoever alleged the loss of his ID card. This should be done in corporation with the Political Intelligence Department in the county concerned.
All police departments as well as police stations in counties should check every ID card and ensure its accuracy and check its details against the holder.
Civil Register Trusts must not give a citizen of Kurdish origin any ID replacement before obtaining an agreement from each of ,The Department of Political Intelligence, The Department of Military Intelligence and The General Headquarters of Intelligence. Failure to comply will be their full responsibility.
Civil Register Trusts as well as the Units’ Chief Officers have a duty of care for implementation for which they are fully responsible.
Dr. Mohamed Harba
The Minister of the Interior
– The Deputy Minister of Interiors for Civil Matters;
– The General Administration for Civil Status;
– The Civil Register Trusts
– Promulgation to police stations
To be kept with the personnel categories file No. /3/ section/A/ Civil Status Department
Appendix No. 2: a decision by the Mayor of Aleppo
Decision No (768)
According to the decree No. /1457/ on 30/ 12/ 1945 and the notice from the Political Intelligence Department of Aleppo No. /1999 on 10/4/ 2000, the Mayor of Aleppo makes the following decision:
Closure of video and cassette record shops and party halls that are related to Kurds on: Alashrafiah and Shiek Maksoud places- Sout al Shola, abu Daleel, owner – Sout Deelan, Refaat Deelan, owner- Sout Afreen Reezan Habash- Sout Hawar, Jalal Shieko, owner- Sout Akrad, Omar Karrad, owner- Sout Jouan, Husain bklerd, owner- Sout Kawa, Khaleel Kawa, owner- Vedio Rozan, Abdo Sarkout, owner- Tasjeelat Khnnaf, Waleed Murad, owner- Vedio Delbereen, Nedal Delbereen, owner/ Bustan al Basha.
To be announced and carried out within /24/ hours from the time it is received by the designated station.
A copy for: the Headquarter of the Political Intelligence Department/ the County Police Headquarter please read and forward to whom it is necessary in order to carry it out and provide us with a copy of the closure statement/ the Headship of Aleppo City Council.
The Mayor of Aleppo
The start of May 2000