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Barzan Hussein

HRD & Leading Member
Kurdish Union of Writers

Barzan Hussein is a Kurdish journalist and leading member of the Kurdish Union of Writers. He is also a correspondent for Zagros TV, a Kurdish language television station broadcasting from Erbil, Iraq. In his media work, he is active in defending the cultural and linguistic rights of Kurdish people in Syria. Barzan Hussein has criticised human rights abuses committed by the Kurdish authorities in northern Syria, especially the hostile behaviour of the PYD towards Kurdish journalists and media outlets.

The deterioration in the situation of HRDs is as much related to intensified use of violence by the Assad regime as it is to the offensive of the armed militant groups that have proliferated since the beginning of the uprising and which try and control civil society in the areas under their control. Much like the regime itself, these non-state actors increasingly employ tactics of intimidation, death threats, abduction and incommunicado detention against human rights defenders, either because of ideological disagreements or because they are involved in documenting abuses committed by these groups. There are also reports of armed Islamist groups issuing death fatwas against HRDs and condoning their assassinations on grounds of apostasy. A very significant number of HRDs were forced to leave the country or go into hiding for fear of losing their lives.