For Qamishli, Syrian Occupied Kurdistan

March 21, 2004

Honoring the Selfless Commitment of Kurds in Syria and Iran for Freedom

Rally

Syrian Embassy

2215 Wyoming Avenue NW

Washington, DC

10:00  –  11:00 a.m.

March

Lafayette Park

The White House

11:00  –  12:00 noon.

Remembrance, Newroz Messages of Resistance, and Music

Lafayette Park, the White House

12:00  —  3:00 pm

(For updates please check, http://www.kurdistan.org/)

Since March 12, 2004, the Kurdish towns and cities in Syrian misruled Kurdistan have come under heavy attacks by the authorities in Damascus.  Dozens have been killed.  Hundreds have been hospitalized.  Thousands have been jailed.  The Kurdish display of support for the Kurds of Iraq who have finally been given a semblance of rights by the central government in Baghdad seems to have triggered these deadly confrontations.  The Kurds are asking for citizenship rights, language rights, and cultural rights.  The authorities have countered them by saying they have come under the spell of “exported ideas”.  The Arab hooligans responsible for some of the deaths have proudly displayed the pictures of deposed Arab leader Saddam Hussein.  The Kurds on their part have raised the pictures of Kurdish leaders as well as that of President Bush.  They have also dared to deface the ubiquitous faces of Hafiz El Asad on display in city squares throughout Syrian Kurdistan.

There are an estimated 2.5 million Kurds in Syria.  They constitute 12 percent of the population.  About 25.000 of them are undocumented, “maktoumeen”, with no rights.  About 225.000 are red-card holders, “ajnabi”, with only limited rights.  The rest, though citizens, have been persecuted and harassed ever since the Allies put together the artificial state of Syria back in 1923.

(Due to rapid developments of events in Syrian Kurdistan, we have decided to post this announcement right away.  For now, the American Kurdish Information Network, Kurdish Human Rights Watch, Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan and Kurdish National Congress are the sponsors of this event.  Other Kurdish organizations will be contacted shortly to support this remembrance as well.  Please note that the program may be updated as we reach to more Kurds to be a part in this day of resistance, i.e., Newroz, for all Kurds and their friends.  Please spread the word around and make arrangements to be in Washington, DC.  Don’t forget to bring your own signs  —  for suggestions.  We recommend that you also wear black.  We look forward to seeing you all in front of the Syrian Embassy in DC.)