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ʿAfrin: Participants in a meeting of the Kurdish National Council kidnapped by the PYD

KURDWATCH, June 11, 2012—In the early morning of June 7, 2012, twelve people who had taken part in a Kurdish National Council meeting held the previous evening in the village of Sinka in the district of ʿAfrin were kidnapped by members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The people in question are Dibo Hasan (member of the Kurdish National Council and the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria [Azadî]), Nuri Khoja (b. 1955), Bashir Chawish, Husain Chawish, Muhammad ʿAbdullah Chawish, Zardasht Rashid Hasan, ʿAbdurrahman Hasan (member of the Kurdish National Council and the Kurdish Democratic Party—Syria), Ibrahim Mahmud, Marwan Ibrahim, ʿAli Marwan Ibrahim (b. 1997), Tekoshin Nuri Khoja (b. 1985, member of the Kurdish Future Movement in Syria), and Ibrahim Mamo. Another person, Rashid Hasan (Azadî member), was kidnapped on the evening of June 7. Prior to the kidnapping, a conflict had arisen at a PYD checkpoint between participants at the Kurdish National Council's event and PYD members. Tekoshin Nuri Khoja was injured. The PYD accuses Khoja of attacking them and stepping on the PYD‑flag. Khoja denies this. After Rezan Bahri Shaykhmus, (chairman of the Kurdish Future Movement's Office of General Communication) intervened in the matter with the PYD, Khoja was released on the evening of June 7. All of the other kidnapped victims remain in the custody of the PYD; they are to be brought before the court on June 8 [further information on the PYD‑courts]. Khoja reported to KurdWatch that members of the PYD stormed his parents' home on the morning of June 7 taking him and his father in handcuffs and with their eyes bound to a house that had been turned into a prison. The other kidnapped victims—all of them had visited him at home the previous evening following his injury—were also there. Khoja reports that the PYD accused him of supporting the Free Syrian Army and being financed by the Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan. According to official statements by the PYD, the kidnappings were a reaction to armed attacks by Azadî members on a PYD checkpoint.

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