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Mr Derwesh Xalib has been arrested by Syrian security force

Dear Colleagues at the WiP Committee of International PEN

Dear Colleagues at the T&LRC Committee of International PEN

It is with regret that we inform you that the Kurdish linguist, Mr Derwesh Xalib was taken from home by the Syrian security force in Qamishli (South West Kurdistan) (Syria) last Tuesday 13th Jan 09 and is still in detention. The security forces have again raided his home last Thursday 15th Jan 2009 and confiscated all his books, writings and transcripts.

Mr Derwesh Xalib is 59 years old, he is a linguist and computer engineer, he has five children and has dedicated his live to serve the Kurdish language. He has run a lot of Kurdish language courses during the last few years, even though the kurdish language is forbidden in Syria. He is not related to any political parties. He has established  the Committee for Learning the Kurdish Language, which has helped hundreds of young Kurdish men and women to learn the Kurdish language.

Mr Derwesh Xalib has been a member of the Kurdish PEN Centre for years and has great contribution to the cause of the Kurdish language. We are therefore urging you to start a campaign for the release of Mr Derwesh Xalib and we are willing to cooperate with you in this matter by providing you with the necessary information.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon

The Executive Board

Kurdish PEN Centre, 20/01/2009

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