Syrian Kurds protest against Paris attack

AFP , Sunday 25 Dec 2022

Hundreds of Syrian Kurds staged a protest in northern Syria on Sunday in response to a deadly attack targeting members of the ethnic community in Paris this week.

This photograph taken on December 24, 2022, shows tribute candles and pictures of three victims of a shooting, Mir Perwer (L), Emine Kara and Abdulrahman Kizil, in front of the Centre democratique du Kurdistan (Kurdistan democratic center) in Paris. AFP


A gunman opened fire at a Kurdish cultural centre and a hairdressing salon in Paris on Friday, killing three Kurds.

The suspected gunman, a 69-year-old Frenchman, was arrested and later confessed to a "pathological" hatred for foreigners, Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said.

The semi-autonomous Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria called for the Sunday protest in Hasakeh, which drew hundreds of people brandishing photos of the three victims and calling for accountability.

"Kurds are fighting against oppression and they are massacred everywhere, even in Paris, the city of love and freedom," said feminist activist Evin Basho, 33, demanding that the killer be brought to justice.

She was among those who marched through the city chanting "the martyrs of Paris are forever in our hearts" and repeating slogans against "the extermination" of the Kurdish people.

Often described as the world's largest people without a state, the Kurds are a Muslim ethnic group spread across Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

Protester Azad Suleiman, 55, told AFP he felt Kurds were being targeted in the diaspora and at home.

"This is a war against our people, targeting us in the four parts of Kurdistan and even in Europe," he said, adding he had high hopes that the French authorities would bring the perpetrator to justice.

"We will not concede to the enemies in Kurdistan and we will not abandon our revolution," Suleiman said.

Furious Kurdish demonstrators had clashed with French police after the attack, which revived the trauma of three unresolved murders of Kurds almost 10 years ago in the same area of Paris.

French President Emmanuel Macron described Friday's killings as an "odious attack" against Kurds and ordered the Paris police chief to meet with leaders of the Kurdish community.

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