The militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) are committing widespread human rights violations in areas under their control, including most notably arbitrary detention, kidnapping, enforced disappearances, and torture against dissident activists and politicians, said the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).
In a report released on Wednesday, the Network said that it had recorded no fewer than 169 detentions and enforced disappearances by the PYD militias against dissident activists and politicians since the beginning of 2017. Of those, only 72 have been released, while the remaining 97 remain in arbitrary detention or forcibly disappeared.
The watchdog group pointed out that the PYD militias did not issue arrest warrants nor did they inform the families of detainees about the whereabouts of their relatives or whether they are still alive. The detentions are usually accompanied by humiliation and mistreatment, while those who were released were not subject to fair trials.
The detention centers lack medical care, personal hygiene, clean water, food and ventilation, which lead to the spread of diseases among the detainees. Detainees are unable to hire a lawyer while their families are not allowed to visit them, the Network added.
The Network’s report cited a vivid example of the actions of the PYD militia. It said that on May 13, 2017, journalist Barzan Hussein Liani, who works for the Zagros TV channel, was detained and taken along with his car by unknown gunmen to an unknown location. A week later, relatives and associates of Barzan received credible information that the militias detaining him belonged to the PYD.
Earlier reports by human rights groups and the UN listed widespread violations by the PYD, which included forced displacement and ethnic cleansing in the areas under their control as well as harassment and detention of dissident Kurdish activists. The militia crack down on whoever oppose their policies which run contrary to the interests of the Syrian people and their revolution for freedom and mirror those of the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)