Marwan Osman

Age: 44

Profession: poet and writer

Date of Arrest: 15 December 2002

Details of Arrest: On 10 December 2002 the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Unity Party held a peaceful demonstration with some 200 participants before the National Assembly in Damascus. Marwam Osman and Hassan Saleh were among those who presented a memorandum to the President of the National Assembly, Abdul Qadir Qadurah, demanding greater protection for the rights of Kurds living in Syria. Osman and Saleh were arrested five days later following an invitation for a meeting by the Minister of the Interior, Major General Ali Hammud. The following day memers of the Syrian security forces reportedly searched both men’s houses in Qamishli and ‘Ayn al-Aarab in Northern Syria. Hassan Saleh’s son, Siament Saleh, and Marwan Osman’s brother, Ahmad Osman, were taken from the houses and interrogated by members of the Syrian Security Forces. They were released after five hours.

Details of Trial: Osman and Saleh appeared before a military court on 15 January 2003, at which they were referred to the Supreme State Security Court on charges of ‘inciting religious and ethnic discord.’ If convicted they could face a sentence of up to 15 years’ hard labour.

Professional Details: Marwan Osman has written a number of dramas in Kurdish, and has edited reviews in Arabic and Kurdish including Dialogue, Pirs and Yekiti. He is a member of the Kurdish PEN Centre. He is also a leading member of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Unity Party (SKDUP) and a member of the General Secretariat of the AODEPF (Arab Organisation for the Defence of Expression and Press Freedom).

Previous political imprisonment/problems: Marwan Osman was reportedly detained for several weeks in 1986 for his participation in a demonstration calling for Kurdish cultural rights


Released: 22 February 2004

To read some of Marwan Osman’s poems click here

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