Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kurdish recruit killed in mysterious circumstances in Syria

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Dohuk, Dec. 9 (AKnews) – A Kurdish human rights organization (DAD) said on Thursday that a Kurdish recruit was killed in mysterious circumstances in Syria while performing military service.Kurdish Organization for Defending Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria (DAD)

The case is the ninth mysterious killing of Kurdish soldiers during their service in the army this year, raising the total number of such cases to 44 since 2004. Syrian officials say the cases are "accidents" or "suicides".

"The family of recruit Mohammed Jalal Mohammed, received the body of their son, who was… stationed in the province of Homs" said a statement from DAD, "Syrian officers in his military unit told the family he died as a result of electric shock".

Mohammed had been serving in the Syrian army for about 10 months. Upon the return of his body, the military officers handed his family a "symbolic amount of money as compensation for his death." according to the statement.

Often, the Syrian authorities claim that these cases are "accidents" or "suicides" without official investigations being conducted into the cases or the bodies being inspected by forensic experts.

Families of the victims claim their sons were exposed to torture and murder, citing traces and marks appearing on their recovered bodies.

Military service in Syria is mandatory. Anyone reaching the age of 18 will have to serve in the military for 21 months, although the military service of those studying will be delayed until the studies are completed.

DAD held Syrian authorities fully accountable for the deaths, being the "first and foremost body of responsibility for the security of citizens and their personal safety."

In addition to calling on the relevant authorities to conduct an impartial, transparent and fair investigation to identify those responsible and "impose the most severe sanctions against them and to compensate the families of the victims for damages."

The United Nations Committee against Torture has voiced concern about repeated incidents of Kurdish soldiers being killed during their compulsory military service in Syria.

The commission said it was following with concern the reports of increasing numbers of deaths of Kurdish recruits while performing their military service with their bodies showing marks of serious injuries.

Following the UN commission's statement, Syria provided its first report in mid-May last year.

Though there are no official and accurate statistics of the number of the Kurds in Syria, unofficial statistics suggest there are about three million of them, which accounts for 10-17% of the population.

Reported by Khudr Khllat


Thursday, December 9th 2010 1:39 PM