Kurdish party accused of ‘arbitrarily’ detaining activists




ARA News

Sere Kaniye, Qamishli, Syria− On Thursday Oct. 17, the home of the Kurdish activist Mohammed Musto Dotkani was reportedly stormed by an armed group accompanied by two cars in Sere Kaniye/Ras Al Ain,  west of Qamishli, leading him to an unknwon destination.

According to Azad, Dotkani’s relative, the activist was detained after the roads leading to his house were blocked by the armed group.

Azad accused members of the Popular Protection Uits (YPG) of responsibility for his relative’s detention, saying that the YPG −armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD)− is the only armed group in the city of Sere Kaniye.

“We are sure that the YPG forces are the ones who abducted and detained Mohammad, because they are the only armed party in the city,” Azad told ARA News. “The YPG does not allow any other factions to carry weapons in the city, claiming that they are the only legitimate party to protect the area while they arbitrarily arrest activists and civilians.” 

An eyewitness, preferred anonymity, told ARA News that the alleged armed group raided the Mohammad Dotkani’s house and confiscated light weapons that were in his possession, “like all other people in Sere Kaniye,” he said. 

“Weapons confiscated from Mohammad’s house included a Kalashnikov (Russian sub-machine gun) and a rifle,” he added.

Sources said that the YPG members arrested dozens of Kurdish activists in Sere Kaniye under the pretext of “securing the area against Islamists-linked activists”. 

“Most of activists abducted and detained by the YPG are accused of connections with the Islamic groups or the Free Syria Army,” Azad said. “Others are even accused of connections with the Turkish authorities, which seems ridiculous.”

Observers compare practices of the PYD’s armed forces of the YPG (or Popular Protection Units) with that of the Syrian regime’s forces concerning arbitrary arrests and violations. 

On September 17, 2013, fighters of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) Popular Protection Units (YPG) arrested more than thirty Kurdish activists near the Syrian-Iraqi borders. The majority of the detainees are members of the newly founded Union of Democratic Students and Youth of Kurdistan, who were returning from their organization’s founding conference in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. 

One of the detainees who was released told KurdWatch website: “We were held in al‑Malikiyah in an Asayish (PYD security) prison, and we were repeatedly insulted. About twenty people were confined for hours in a cell in an area of no more than four square meters. They wanted to know what we were doing in Iraqi Kurdistan.”

However, the YPG and its political leadership −the PYD− emphasize the importance of protecting the area against any possible threats, especially with the intensifying violence due to clashes with Islamic groups in Syria’s Kurdish areas. 


Report by: Abdul Ilah Ibrahim

Source: ARA News


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