Source Pravda.Ru

Syrian parties rally over stateless Kurds

Syrian opposition parties, human rights organisations and Kurdish groups will hold on Wednesday a protest for the anniversary of the 1962 census, which striped 120,000 Kurds of their citizenship.

The aim of the protest is to ask the government to change its treatment of the Kurdish minority, which has a right to citizenship. During a television appearance six months ago president Bashar al-Assad had promises that he would naturalise some Kurds living in Syria.

In 2004 Kurdish anger erupted in Syria' northeastern governorate of Hasake, where riots, reportedly resulting from a brawl between Arab and Kurdish supporters of rival soccer teams, killing 30 people.

In a reconciliation move, which activists hoped would be followed by wider reforms, Assad later pardoned and released 312 Syrian Kurds linked to the riots.

Besides all, the 1962 census also aimed at identifying 'alien infiltrators', who allegedly crossed the border from Turkey. To retain their Syrian nationality Kurds had to prove they had lived in Syria since 1945, AKI reports.