Syrian Kurdish council condemns arrest of KDP reporter by Rojava Asayish

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Kurdish Security Forces (Asayish) securing a road in the border town of Kobane, Syria. File photo: Reuters

ARA News

The Kurdish National Council (KNC) on Tuesday condemned the arrest of Zagros TV reporter Barzan Hussein, who was arrested on 13 May in Rumelan town in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province.

“The journalist Barzan Hussein has been arrested three times and has been threatened more than once, his camera was confiscated, but he was able with great courage to convey the voice of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) in Girke Lege area,” the KNC said in a statement. “He was like the unknown soldier in the pursuit of truth.”

The Kurdish Zagros TV station is affiliated to the Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by Masoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan region.

“We at the local council of the KNC in Girke Leke condemn and denounce these irresponsible acts and the arrest of journalists, media activists, and the closure of the offices of the KNC, which odes not serve the Kurdish issue,” the KNC said, calling on the Asayish police –led by the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) Rojava Self-Administration– to release local KNC member Adnan Mahmoud and journalist Barzan Hussein.

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. This includes 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 the 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 or arrested each other’s reporters. On 4 March, Swara Mahmud, a reporter for the PKK-affiliated Roj News, was shortly arrested by the KDP-affiliated security forces after he covered a pro-PKK protest in Erbil.

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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