Qamishli: Kurdish icon commemorated amid condemnation of presidential elections


Funeral of Sheikh Mashuq al-Khiznawi in Qamishli city, northeast of Syria. File photo

ARA News

Qamishli, Syria – Dozens of Kurdish activists and residents of Qamihsli city took to the street on Saturday in commemoration of the prominent Kurdish figure Sheikh Mashuq al-Khiznawi’s assassination, who was killed by the Syrian security in June of  2005 after a month of disappearance. Al-Khiznawi used to criticize the Syrian regime in his public speeches, especially after the anti-Assad Kurdish uprising of 2004.

Commemorators of al-Khiznawi raised anti-regime banners during their protest on Saturday, condemning the assassins of the Sheikh who was known for his defend to the Kurdish rights and promotion of pluralism in Syria.

Qamishli activists also condemned the holding of presidential elections in Syria, describing it as “bloody elections” in reference to the ongoing war, calling on residents of Qamishli and its surroundings to boycott the elections.

“Assad wants people to elect him while his regime’s killing machine is still claiming lives of thousands of innocents,” one of Saturday’s protesters told ARA News. “Does he (president Bashar al-Assad) await us to nominate him for a new term of suppression?”

Adnan Ali, an activist based in the city of Qamishli, told ARA News that the protest was organized by some Kurdish activists in front of Salman al-Farisi mosque in al-Antariya district, in the city of Qamishli in Hasakah province, northeast of Syria.

“The protesters called for all the region’s social components, including the Kurdish people, Assyrians and Arabs, to boycott the potential presidential elections (planned on June 3),” Ali said. “This is happening in light of the silence of the Kurdish political forces which did not call for any protest against the illegitimate elections of Assad.”

“Hassan Saleh, member of the Political Bureau of the Yeketi Kurdish Party in Syria PYKS, delivered a speech at the gathering where he stressed that the Kurdish people will remain part and parcel of the Syrian Revolution, saying there will be no place for criminals to rule Syria and the Syrian people,” Ali said.

“Saleh also called on the parties and Kurdish, Arab and Christian organizations to boycott the illegal elections which are being held while the bloodshed continues across the country sine 2011,” Ali stated for ARA News.

Jihad Ali, an activist from Qamishli, told ARA News: “We are protesting, as we always used to do, to condemn the so-called elections. We are protesting against the farce which all the Syrians familiar with.”

“The unarmed Syrians who are hit with artillery and rockets in most of the Syrian cities,” he said.

“We protest against all massacres committed against children and women,” Ali added. “We protest also for commemorating the ninth anniversary of the assassination of Sheikh Mashuq al-Khiznawi.”

Noteworthy, the Syrian presidential elections are scheduled to take place on the third of next June, in light of the opposition boycott and the international skepticism of their seriousness.


Reporting by: Dilshad Mohammed

Source: ARA News

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