Kurdish National Council calls on PYD to release political prisoners

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Security patrol of Syrian Kurdish Asayish forces. File photo

ARA News

The Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) on Monday called on the Democratic Union Party (PYD) to release the dozens of KNC-members that were arrested after clashes in the town of Sinjar on 3 March.

The KNC stressed in an official statement that these arrest campaigns will serve no one but the enemies of the Kurds.

According to the Kurdish council, an armed group affiliated to the PYD has recently captured the Future Movement’s member Resid Mohammed in Dirbêsiyê town, Adnan Ibrahim, a member of the Kurdish Youth Movement (TCK) in Girkê Legê, Mohammed Al Sino and Tirad Oso, members of the PDK-S. All three parties operate as part of the Kurdish National Council.

The KNC’s Secretary General strongly condemned these arrests and called on the PYD-led self-administrations to release all political prisoners.

The Asayish security forces led by the PYD in Syria’s Kurdish region (Rojava) have arrested over 40 members of the pro-Barzani Kurdish National Council after clashes in Sinjar between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)-linked Rojava Peshmerga forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)-affiliated Shingal Resistance Units (YBS) on 3 March.

This while the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)-led security forces arrested 23 opposition protestors of which six foreign nationals are still being held in prison in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a statement to ARA News called on both the Kurdish PYD-led and KDP-led administrations in Iraq and Syria to release prisoners that were arrested after clashes between Kurdish forces in Sinjar on 3 March.

“We are concerned about the apparent arbitrary arrests in both Syria and the KRG [Iraqi Kurdistan] related to the Sinjar clashes,” Lama Fakih, deputy director in Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division told ARA News in an exclusive interview.

“Arresting peaceful protestors only serves to undermine the freedom of assembly and expression. All arbitrarily held political detainees should be immediately released,” she said.

Moreover, Human Rights Watch condemned the KDP using bullets to disperse a pro-PKK protest.

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) armed forces fired rubber and live bullets and teargas canisters at protesters in Sinjar district in northern Iraq on March 14, 2017, killing one person and wounding at least seven, HRW said on Thursday.

“KRG authorities should investigate the use of lethal force against the protesters,” the human rights watchdog said.

Source: ARA News

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