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Al-Qamishli: Demonstrators criticize Islamic slogans

KURDWATCH, 16. May 2012—Nationwide protests on 11. May 2012 resulted again in numerous dead and injured. Throughout the country, demonstrators demanded the fall of the regime. Once again protests in the Kurdish regions this week did not take place under a united slogan. Only a few demonstrators joined the all-Syrian slogan »God's support and a speedy victory«. An activist told KurdWatch, »Our revolution is committed to freedom and dignity. We no longer have sympathy for the fact that so many of the slogans that are designated as the main slogans have an Islamic context«. Most of the demonstrators chose their own slogan; for example, supporters of the Democratic Union Party took to the streets under the slogan »Support for the Kurds in Aleppo«.
The atmosphere in al‑Qamishli was tense after the PYD attacked other demonstrators in the district of al‑Hilaliyah last Friday. This week three different protests departed from the demonstrators' central meeting point at the Qasimo mosque: The PYD organized a central demonstration, in which supporters from various Kurdish regions took part. The Kurdish National Council also called for a central demonstration, however, only a few thousand people participated. In addition, several hundred supporters of the Union of Kurdish Democratic Forces in Syria protested. Further protests took place in the districts of al‑ʿAntariyah, Qudurbak, and Qanat Suwais. In Qudurbak security forces attacked the protesters and the demonstration was quickly dispersed. In ʿAmudah there were three separate demonstrations, organized by the PYD, the Kurdish National Council, and by various youth groups, including Avahî. In al‑Hasakah there were four demonstrations. One central protest march took place in each of the cities of al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik), al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî), al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê), al‑Jawadiyah (Çil Axa), Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê), ad‑Darbasiyah, and ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî), as well as in the majority Kurdish districts of Shaykh Maqsud in Aleppo and Ruknuddin and Wadi al‑Mashariʿ (Zorava) in Damascus. Overall the number of demonstrators in the Kurdish regions is currently in decline.

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