Qamishli – Six members of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) were released in Syria’s northeastern Qamishli city on Tuesday, after spending months in a prison run by the Asayish forces, the security arm of the PYD-led Self-Administration.
Media sources affiliated to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) reported that the KNC members were arrested for organizing and participating in “unauthorized activities.”
On the other hand, the KNC-linked media said that those released were “political prisoners” who have been held by “the PYD’s Asayish” for political reasons.
The six KNC members have been kept in the Alaya Prison in Qamishli for several months.
According to the laws of the Self-Administration of Northern Syria, any protest or activity needs a permission from the local administration.
However, the KNC does not recognize the local administrations and refuses to ask their permission for holding protests or other political or cultural activities. As a result, tensions have ensued and several members of the KNC have been arrested by the Self-Administration’s Asayish forces in the past.
“Anyone that accepts the Self-Administration can work in Rojava [Syria’s Kurdish region],” co-Chair of the PYD Salih Muslim said in a conference in London on 22 November. “I promise anyone who apply for permission to work in Rojava, they will be free to do whatever they like there.”
“We have to work all together and bring all the parties to the table to establish some balance in Rojava,” he said.
Several KNC members were arrested on 15 August last year during a funeral of a Peshmerga fighter who was killed by ISIS in clashes near Mosul.
Five of the members that were released today were affiliated to the KNC-linked Yekiti Party, while one was affiliated to the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (KDP-S).
On 17 January, the Asayish also released Muhammed Ismail, a leading KDP-S member who was also arrested on 15 August last year.
According to Yekiti media, one of their reporters called Alan Salim Ahmed is still in prison since 15 August 2016.
“We in Yekiti Media website, management and reporters, express our joy at the release of the leaders and members of Yekiti. However, we condemn and denounce the continuing detention of our reporter Alan Salim Ahmed,” it said in a statement, accusing the local authorities of suppressing the freedom of press.
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