Kurdish National Council urges international community to pressure PYD to release political prisoners

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KNC supporters in Syria's Qamishli calls for the release of political prisoners. File photo: ARA News

ARA News

The Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) on Saturday accused the Rojava Asayish of arresting member of the KNC-affiliated Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (KDP-S) Nashat Zaza after he returned from a funeral. The KNC called on the international community to pressure the local administration in Rojava –led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD)– to release the KNC prisoners.

“We hold the PYD [Democratic Union Party] responsible for the safety of the prisoners, including Zaza, and we demand an immediate disclosure of their fate,” the KNC said in a statement.

“The pro-PYD Asayish earlier kidnapped Barzan Hussein, a reporter for AKR [Zagros TV] in the town of Rumaylan,” the KNC said.

“These acts and systematic terrorist practices, which come within the goal to end the political life in Syria’s Kurdistan, silencing the freedom of press, in addition to the suppression of public freedoms, forced recruitment and displacement, closing the headquarters and offices of the Kurdish National Council and its parties as well as the arrest of its leaders and cadres, aim to destroy the national Kurdish cause in Syria’s Kurdistan,” the Kurdish council said.

“The Kurdish National Council condemns and rejects these terrorist practices and reaffirms that these despicable acts and practices are the source of discontent among our Kurdish people in the Kurdish region of Syria,” the KNC said.

“This only serves the enemies of the Kurdish people, and these terrorist practices will not stop us from the struggle until they [Rojava administration] secure the legitimate national rights of the Kurdish people, and demand them to stop the policies and practices that are offensive to the Kurds,” the KNC said.

Meanwhile, three more members of the KNC remain in Asayish prison. On 9 May, 13 KNC members were arrested after the council reopened its main office in Qamishli city which was again shut down by the Self-Administration. The arrestees include Fasla Yusuf, the vice president of the KNC, head of the local KNC office Muhsin Taher, and Secretary-General Muhammed Amin Husam.

The tensions are a result of the competition between the affiliates of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and president Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) over control in the Kurdish territories of Syria and Iraq.

The KDP backs the KNC, while the PKK backs the PYD in Syria. Both sides have arrested or harassed rivals, shut down each other’s media organizations and arrested each other’s reporters.

The KDP-linked media accused the PKK of being under the influence of Iran, while the PKK-affiliated media accused the KDP of being under Turkey’s influence.

Source: ARA News

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