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Raʾs al-ʿAyn: Two activists kidnapped and tortured by members of the PYD

KURDWATCH, August 11, 2011—On August 8, 2011, several armed persons in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê) kidnapped the political activists Muhammad Yusuf Biro (b. 1968, married, four children) and Mahmud Wali (b. 1968, married, six children). The kidnappers brutally beat their victims before leaving them outside of the city. Both activists’ noses were broken. Photographs show that the victims’ faces are massively swollen and bruised.
Biro and Wali are leading activists within Raʾs al‑ʿAyn’s dissident groups. In a statement, these groups held members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) responsible for the deed. A member of the PYD did, in fact, summon the two activists to a meeting. At the meeting place, they were asked to get into a car where two men and a woman were sitting. When one of the activists tried to call a family member, he was paralysed with an electric-shock baton.
In recent weeks, controversy arose between supporters of the PYD and dissident activists in several cities about the form of protests. In Raʾs al‑ʿAyn, the PYD allegedly held Muhammad Yusuf Biro and Mahmud Wali responsible for the fact that the dissident demonstrations that it organized receive little support.
In a statement, the PYD denied any responsibility for the incident.

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