The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) have stepped up the arrests and enforced disappearances against civilians in the areas under its control since the beginning of 2019, especially in the provinces of Raqqa and Al-Hasakah.
In a report released on Monday, the monitoring group said that the PYD militia has detained at least 107 people, including four children and six women, since January 1, 2019. Of those, 52 have been forcibly disappeared, the Network said.
The arrests mainly targeted displaced persons staying in the areas under the control of the PYD militia, especially people staying in IDP camps. The arrests were made under various pretexts, such as being a close relative of ISIS militants and members of the mainstream armed opposition.
The report indicated that the arrests targeted participants in the anti-PYD protests and tribal leaders who refused to support the PYD’s policies, such as the forced recruitment and those who refused to denounce the anti-PYD protests. The arrests also targeted teachers who refused to teach the curricula that the PYD imposed in the schools in the areas under its control.
The Network said that it had registered the names of four children aged between 13 and 17 years who were forcibly recruited during the reporting period. The PYD militia refused to give the families of the detainees any information about their fate and whereabouts except that their children has been taken to training centers.
The PYD militia have been involved in various violations against civilians, including murder, kidnapping, torching of houses, and forced displacement of the local populations. Human rights organizations accused the PYD militia of seeking to bring about demographic change in northeastern Syria, an act which amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)