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KURDWATCH, July 26, 2014—On July 13, 2014, the PKK‑affiliated Democratic Society Movement in Western Kurdistan (TEV‑DEM) organized a car and motorcycle procession in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê). Several dozen vehicles took part in the procession to demonstrate against attacks by the Islamic State on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî).

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KURDWATCH, July 26, 2014—On July 9, 2014, approximately one hundred residents of the western district of al‑Qamishli, predominantly women and children, demonstrated against the current electricity shortage. The demonstration proceeded without incident. The following day a similar demonstration took place in the district of Qudurbak when about thirty women made their way toward the electricity authorities. This demonstration also proceeded without incident. The head of the electricity authorities reportedly promised the demonstrators that the supply of electricity would improve.

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KURDWATCH, July 26, 2014—On July 13, 2014, the legislative council of the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), released to the public a new law on the »duty of self defense«. All men between the ages of eighteen and thirty years are required to serve six months in the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). Exceptions are made for the disabled, an only child, and for »family members of martyrs of the People’s Protection Committee, the Asayiş and the Kurdistan Freedom Movement«. Shamdin Nabi, leading member of the Kurdish National Council, told KurdWatch: »The Kurdish National Council opposes this law. We will call on the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan but also on the parliament and the president of Iraqi-Kurdistan to help us stop this law.«

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KURDWATCH, July 24, 2014—On July 16, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has exiled Badran Misto, member of the Central Committee of the Kurdish Union Party (Yekîtî), from Syria. Misto was kidnapped from his home in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn on June 27 [further information on the incident]. According to a statement by the Yekîtî, his exile is based on a ruling by a PYD court.

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KURDWATCH, July 24, 2014—In an interview with the Hawar news agency, which has ties to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kanʿan Barakat, chairman of the Committee on Internal Affairs for the PYD‑appointed transitional administration in the canton of Jazirah, announced that all parties, institutions, and associations must apply for authorization by no later than August 17, 2014. Organizations that fail to comply with this requirement will be shut down.

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KURDWATCH, July 20, 2014—On July 11, 2014, the General Committee of Kurdish Youth (member of the Kurdish National Council) organized a demonstration in al‑Qamishli against attacks by the Islamic State on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). Approximately twenty people took part in the demonstration.

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KURDWATCH, July 20, 2014—On July 13, 2014, the Military Intelligence Service released Haitham Farhan Haso (b. 1980) from custody in Damascus. The student and journalist, who is also involved in the SAWA‑coalition, had been arrested on January 16, 2013 in ar‑Raqqah after returning from Turkey.

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KURDWATCH, July 20, 2014—On July 15, 2014, four people, including a nine-year-old boy, were killed in a car bomb explosion in Tall Tamr, which is controlled by the Democratic Union Party  (PYD). All of the victims are Arab civilians. The reason behind the explosion is unknown.

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KURDWATCH, July 19, 2014—On July 5, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) surrounded the village of Naf Kur, five kilometers west of al‑Qamishli, and called upon village residents to surrender two people who had fled from PYD‑custody. They discovered the escapees and brought them back under their control. Afterwards the YPG withdrew from the village. The YPG maintains its largest military establishment in nearby Himu.

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KURDWATCH, July 17, 2014—On June 27, 2014, relatives of the student Sherwan Abdullah Barakat (b. 1993 in ʿAmudah), who had been imprisoned since August 20, 2013, received a death certificate from the Military Intelligence Service, according to which Barakat died on February 16, 2014. The cause of death is listed as cardiac and respiratory arrest following circulatory collapse. Barakat was arrested at the University of Homs and transferred to the Palestine department of the Military Intelligence Service in Damascus. The relatives were neither allowed to bury nor view Barakat’s body.

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