Syria: Campaign for singer who has been arrested by security agents


Campaign for singer arrested by security agents

Members of the Syrian security authorities have arrested the Kurdish singer Bavê Selah in his appartment in Aleppo on 24 January 2011, reported Kurdwatch. Amnesty International has started a campaign for his release.

The reason for the arrest and Bavê Selah’s current whereabouts remain unknown. He was deported to an unknown location.

Bavê Selah’s real name is Abulrahman Muhammad Umar (also spelled: Omer, or: ‘Abd al-Rahman Mohammed ‘Omar). He is 60 years old, married, and has seven children.

Bavê Selah was born in the predominantly Kurdish settled region of Kurdag and Afrin in the far north-western part of Syria. At the time of his detention, the Kurdish artist was in a condition of bad health. However, the Syrian security forces followed their instructions to arrest without regard to this circumstance, reported Society for Threatened Peoples.

Letter campaign
In February 2011 Amnesty International started a campaign for the singer’s release. In a statement, Amnesty International writes:

“’Abd al-Rahman Mohammed ‘Omar is not known to be affiliated with any political organization and his arrest may be based solely on his promotion of traditional Kurdish music, in which case Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience and call for his immediate and unconditional release.

He suffers from diabetes and at the time of arrest was confined to his bed as a result of his illness. There are fears for his health as it is not known if he is being given access to the medication that his condition requires. There are reports that ‘Abd al-Rahman Mohammed ‘Omar, accompanied by members of the Political Security force, was seen at a hospital in Aleppo in early February.”

Bavê Selah



Amnesty International:

‘Urgent action: Kurdish folk singer at risk of torture’


Kurdwatch – 27 January 2011:

‘Aleppo: Singer arrested’