2 February 1982 Hama Massacre and General Situation of Human Rights in Syria
Today is the anniversary of Hama massacre which happened in 2 February 1982. This massacre is one of the most painful events which have been lived in our area recently. Because of not having enough information, there have not been steps about this depressing event until now.
The bombardment started in 2 February 1982 in Hama and lasted for 21 days and nights causing 40 thousand people’s death. After the attacks, among many arrestments, males between the ages 13 and 70 were arrested and then there has not been information about most of them. The numbers of the people whom cannot be reached after having been arrested in those days were more than 20 thousands. The operation occurred not only in Hama but also in the other parts of all Syria and this operation caused humanity tragedies all over the country.
After the massacre 800 thousand people had to abandon the country and today this number has reached to 2 million. These people are not able to go back to their countries that still live in Diaspora. The children and grand children of the families who were unborn in the days of massacre in Hama also cannot go back their homes. Although the Syrian government has declared to international community that these people can go back to Syria, almost “one thousand” among the people who returned to Syria, were arrested and have been presently in the jail.
In the attacks which lasted 21 days; 38 mosques, 2 churches and 58 pharmacies were collapsed and most of the shops in the city were plundered. In the events, Syrian soldiers attacked on all of the civilian locations and caused loss of life and property. The target of Esad’s Ba’athist regime was not only Muslims. The Christian population in the city was also exposed to attacks equally.
Some laws which are still valid in Syria are the most important reasons of illegalities. The laws of the country, in which the emergency management is still on, are contradictory to human rights and international law. Some laws which are still on, including pressure elements and against the human rights are below:
• Security Law ( 22 December 1962 )
• Revolution Protection Law ( 17 January 1965 )
• Securing State Law ( 14 January 1969 )
• Law Regulating Military Courts ( 17 August 1967 )
• Law Regulating the State Security Courts ( 28 March 1968 )
• The Syrian Constitution which was accepted in 13 March 1973
• Law no: 49 ( 7 August 1980 )
• Law no: 39 Regulating the Work of State Institutions ( 15 August 1981)
The most violated law among the laws given above is the no: 49 Law and it is still on application. This article accepts being a member of Muslim Brothers Organization is a big crime and judges these people with execution. Many Organization members who are still judged with execution according to law. 4
There are also political social and cultural pressures against Kurdish in Syria. Identity discrimination against Kurdish makes the situation more difficult historically. 350.000 Kurdish population from 1, 5 million Kurdish are not considered as citizen, they are seen as foreigners in official cards given them. The people on these statues are lack of basic rights like; property acquisition, election, working as a servant in official departments, treatment in hospitals and travel. Kurdish have “Ecanip” statues cannot get marry with other Syrian Citizens, if they married their sons and daughters are not considering even in “Ecanib” Statues, they are considered as “Maktumin”. These statues of people have not any official documents or registers. “Maktumin” statues of children have to permit from political branch of police department in order to enroll governmental schools. Because of permission process is very difficult, the rate of these statues of the children who go on schools are very low. These “Ecanib” and “Maktumin” statues of people are about 350.000.
In the early days of his presidency, Beşşar Esad promised to solve these problems. There have not been any developments for 10 years. Discrimination policy applied against Kurdish in Syria followed and observed by human rights organizations and to end of this discrimination is demanded.
There are some steps for Syria to take while improving its relations with Turkey and international community. It is needed to stop discrimination politics against Kurdish, to change laws related with Muslim Brotherhood, paving the returning way of the people who live outside, some regulations and reforms about torture and other custody process.
The reforms will be made and the steps would be taken must be realistic and believable. Reforming and reconciling with its own subjects Syria would provide more support for peace in the region and in the world.
As a MAZLUMDER, we hope the President Beşşar Esad to start his own democratic initiative in his country and call Syrian authorities to:
• Remove 49. Article and other laws against human rights and international law,
• Opening the detention centers and prisons to human rights organization investigation
• Follow more transparent policy, Syrian government must inform public opinion about lost people, start judiciary process for the responsible in Hama massacre, show consideration and respect for the death people and facilitate the returning of the people from the diaspora.
• Take international options into account such as; Ruanda and Srebrenica, the timeout
war crimes and other crimes against humanity will not be taken into consideration,
• Resolve citizenship problems of Kurdish people and discrimination
Ahmet Faruk Unsal