New report: the Kurds in Syria

Radwan Ziadeh

Radwan Ziadeh

A new report has just been published on Syria’s Kurds.  The special report, ‘The Kurds in Syria: Fueling Separatist Movements in the Region?’ was written by Radwan Ziadeh.  Ziadeh is currently a fellow at the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy at Harvard.  He is also founder and director of the Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies and was a fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) from 2007-2008.  USIP is the publisher of Ziadeh’s report.

The report examines Kurds in Syria in the context of the lack of democratic governance, which, Ziadeh repeats throughout the report, affects all Syrians.  He suggests that the development of democratic governance in Syria could mitigate the Kurdish problem there.  Well, that seems fairly obvious.  But the bigger question might be how to achieve democratic governance in a country that has been ruled with an iron fist for decades and decades.

Syrian Kurds in London (March 2009) demonstrate against the Syrian state; in particular, Presidential Decree no. 49

Syrian Kurds in London (March 2009) demonstrate against the Syrian state; in particular, Presidential Decree no. 49

The struggle for Kurdish rights in Syria and other countries is increasingly being viewed through the global discourse of human rights, social justice, and minority rights.  Ziadeh is correct in concluding that the international community can no longer ignore the abrogation of Kurdish rights in occurring in Syria.  The truth though is that human rights are often sacrificed for political gain.  Politics and money trump human rights.  I don’t see Syria taking to heart any of Ziadeh’s recommendations (repeal state of emergency, cease harassment of the opposition, etc), nor do I imagine the EU or the US bending over backwards to ensure human rights there.  Kalam fadi.

If you want to read the report, you can download it here (.pdf) from the USIP website.

One thought on “New report: the Kurds in Syria

  1. Pingback: Syria Comment » Archives » Radwan Ziadeh on “Syria’s Democratic Past: Lessons for the Future”

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