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Jindiras: YPG forces participation in strike

KURDWATCH, March 12, 2013—On February 14, 2013, three supporters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) attacked Ahmad Muhammad Mustafa (known as Pir Rustam), writer and member of the Central Committee of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (Democratic Yekîtî). They demanded he stop the loading of a transporter, to close his four stores in Jindiras, and to participate in a general strike. PKK‑affiliated organizations had called for the general strike that day to protest against the arrest and detention of Abdullah Öcalan. When Rustam refused to close his stores, the attackers tried to take him with them, but were stopped by neighbors and pedestrians. Only fifteen minutes after they had left Rustam’s shop, more than a dozen armed members of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) security forces (Asayiş) appeared. »They stormed into my store and brazenly asked who didn’t want to close his stores. I told them that I had long had this business appointment and couldn’t just send the transporter from Idlib [one hundred kilometers south of Jindiras] back empty. They wanted to arrest me if I didn’t participate in the strike. When we began to raise our voices, a crowd again gathered around us. Some explained to the attackers who I am. That is the only reason I wasn’t kidnapped. I still had to close my stores«. In an open statement a few days later one hundred and seventy writers, politicians, and activists condemned the PYD’s attack on Pir Rustam. In contrast, the Democratic Yekîtî, of whose Central Committee Rustam is a member, has not yet commented on the attack.

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