Activists in Hasakah province said that militiamen of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) continue to crack down on protesters including recent demonstrations by thousands of Syrian Kurds in several towns and villages. The demonstrations came in response to calls by the Kurdish National Council (KNC) to demonstrate against the PYD’s recent detention of Kurdish political dissidents and activists in the town of Qamishli in Hasaka province on Monday.
Demonstrators held placards and chanted slogans denouncing the PYD’s repressive practices in areas under their control, most notably the arbitrary detentions of political dissidents and the forced recruitment of the Kurdish youth. The protesters demanded the immediate release of all those in PYD custody.
The PYD militias have recently detained 32 political dissidents and activists in Qamishli, including members of the Kurdish National Council. Many of the detainees were forced into exile, including president of the KNC Ibrahim Berro who was exiled to Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The biggest anti-PYD demonstrations were reported in the towns of Qamishli, Amouda, Derbassiyah, and Malikiya. The PYD militias attempted to disperse demonstrators by force and carried out random arrests of dozens of protestors. They also deployed more patrols in the streets of Qamishli.
Activists said that the PYD militia detained the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party Bakhtiyar Rassoul as well as political dissidents Anwar Naso, Fahd Jouan, Faisal Qadri, Kawa Konresh, Hussein Mustafa, Wakhal Hussein, and journalist Barzan Sheikhmous.
The Syrian Coalition and the KNC condemned the PYD’s repressive policies, warning against providing any political or legal cover for the perpetrators of such violations and crimes. (Source: Syrian Coalition)