KurdWatch
Newsletter - April 03, 2014

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ʿAyn al‑ʿArab: Rally on the anniversary of the Syrian revolution

KURDWATCH, March 31, 2014—On March 16, 2014, supporters of the Kurdish National Council organized a rally in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) to mark the third anniversary of the Syrian revolution. The demonstrators (estimated between 1,000 and 1,500) demanded the fall of the regime.


ʿAyn al‑ʿArab: Heavy fighting between YPG and Islamists

KURDWATCH, March 31, 2014—Since March 17, 2014, heavy fighting is taking place south and west of the city ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) between fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) together with Free Syrian Army (FSA)fighters. There is said to be numerous dead and injured on both sides.


ʿAfrin: PYD kidnaps female students and tortures school director

KURDWATCH, March 31,  2014—On March 17, 2014, members of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Fauzi Majno, the director of the Amir-Ghobari-School, his son, five female students between the ages of thirteen and sixteen, as well as the brother of one of the students. The director and the students had taken part in a rally in ʿAfrin on March 16, 2014 to commemorate the victims of the poison gas attack on Halabja (Iraqi-Kurdistan) twenty-five years ago. The students were accused of possessing marijuana. On March 18, those kidnapped were released. During the kidnapping, Fauzi Majno was tortured.


Al-Jawadiyah: PYD kidnaps activists

KURDWATCH, March 26, 2014—On March 14, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped the secretary of the Democratic and Kurdistani Union of Students and Youth, Hajar Hasan, as well as the Union member Hozan Shalal in al‑Jawadiyah. On March 15, both were released. They were accused of having organized an event to mark the birthday of Mustafa Barzani without first applying for authorization from the Asayiş.


ʿAmudah: Activist kidnapped and tortured

KURDWATCH, March 26, 2014—On March 19, 2014, several masked persons kidnapped Rahman ʿAbdussalam Haso (b. 1993 in ʿAmudah), employee of the Iraqi-Kurdish television station Zagros and member of the Cooperation of the Youth of ʿAmudah. Haso’s eyes were bound and he was tortured. Nine hours later he was released. Haso told KurdWatch: »The kidnappers spoke Kurdish. They interrogated me because of my activities with the Cooperation of the Youth. I’m not exactly sure who they were.« The kidnapping is consistent with the manner in which the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its security service, Asayiş, treat activists in order to intimidate them.


Al-Qamishli: PYD prohibits el‑Partî event

KURDWATCH, March 25, 2014—On March 14, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), prohibited members of ʿAbdulhakim Bashar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî) from building a stage in a public square in al‑Qamishli. A commemoration ceremony was to be held there to mark the birthday of the Iraqi-Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani. The reason given for banning the event was that the organizers did not apply for the appropriate authorization from the Asayiş. The PYD claims to exercise legitimate state authority, however, this is not recognized by the parties of the Kurdish National Council.


ʿAfrin: PYD kidnaps member of the Progressive Party

KURDWATCH, March 21, 2014—On February 28, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Sidu Sidu, a member of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria’s local committee in ʿAfrin. Sidu was released a day later.


ʿAmudah: Activist kidnapped by PYD

KURDWATCH, March 21, 2014—On March 4, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Ayman Mustafa Daqori (b. 1968 in ʿAmudah, married, four children). Daqori is an activist and works at the ʿAmudah Youth Center for Culture and Art. He had prevented employees of the Asayiş from raising the flag of a PYD‑affiliated organization at his residence. Daqori was released on March 5. He told KurdWatch: »My arrest has a political context. What is at issue is that I do youth work. That I refused to raise the flag at my house was only a pretext.«


ʿAmudah/al-Qamishli: Kurds remember 2004 uprising

KURDWATCH, March 20, 2014—On March 12, 2014, Kurdish organizations in all large cities in the mainly Kurdish-settled regions commemorated the 2004 al‑Qamishli uprising [download report]. Tens of thousands participated in the peaceful demonstrations. In ʿAmudah, supporters of the Kurdish National Council organized a rally. It was the first demonstration in the city since June 2013, when the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) gunned down demonstrators there [further information].


Ar-Raqqah: Deaths in attacks on coach buses

KURDWATCH, March 20, 2014—On March 11, 2014, unknown armed persons shot at coach buses belonging to a Kurdish bus company. The attacks occurred about one hundred kilometers west of the city of ar‑Raqqah. The buses in question belonged to the three firms Jiwan, Iman, and Dijlah, which have their central office in al‑Qamishli. At least two people were killed in the attacks and dozens were injured.


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