#Human Rights
President Assad, Syrian Foreign Ministry, Syrian Embassies, Navil Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, Arab League

Student activist, Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed, a member of Syria’s Kurdish minority, has not been seen since 3 March. There are fears he may have been arrested by the security forces. If so, with the security forces denying he is in their custody, he has been subjected to enforced disappearance. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed is a student at the University of Aleppo. He was last seen when he left the apartment he shares with fellow students around on 3 March. A contact told Amnesty International that after he left the apartment, heavily armed but unidentified security officials raided it, taking Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed’s laptop. Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed was previously arrested and detained for about 10 days in relation to his involvement in student activism and focus on Kurdish rights. He recently changed apartments in fear of another arrest.

On 5 March, Military Security officials visited Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed’s family in Qamishli, north-eastern Syria. The men enquired about Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed’s activities, his age, and education. When the family asked about the whereabouts of their son, the men denied that he was in their custody and insisted that their enquiry was routine. His family has received no information concerning his fate or whereabouts since 3 March but believes the available information points to his having been arrested.

If, Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed is now detained by security forces, the authorities should immediately inform his family of his whereabouts, permit him to make contact with them, and ensure that he has access to a lawyer and necessary medical care. He should be released unless he is charged with a recognizable criminal offence and tried in compliance with international fair trial standards. If he is held for his peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and assembly then Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience and would call for his immediate and unconditional release.

We, the undersigned, demand first and foremost a full accounting of the whereabouts and condition of student activist Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed.

We remind the Syrian authorities that arbitrary detention is illegal according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 7. Syria signed this Covenant on 21 April, 1969.

We also remind the Syrian regime that torture is illegal in Syria, both under international law as well as according to Article 28 (3) of the Syrian Constitution. The Penal Code of Syria stipulates punishment for anyone inflicting torture on a person. Syria’s security system is thus fully responsible for the safety, health and physical and psychological well-being of Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed.

Furthermore, if as seems likely Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed is indeed being detained by security forces, then it is clearly as a result of--and in retaliation for--his peaceful student activism. Such has been the case with the regime's previous acts of persecution against this young man. Therefore, he is a prisoner of conscious and his continued imprisonment is completely illegal under all international human rights covenants and treaties.

We therefore demand the IMMEDIATE and UNCONDTIIONAL release of Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed!

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The Free Kurdish Syrian Student Activist Jaqar Khoen Mullah Ahmed petition to President Assad, Syrian Foreign Ministry, Syrian Embassies, Navil Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, Arab League was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.