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Raʾs al-ʿAyn: Asayiş bans flags and pictures of political figures in public and private vehicles

KURDWATCH, April 3, 2015—On March 30, 2015, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), published an ordinance in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê) according to which flags and photos of political figures may no longer be displayed in or on public as well as private vehicles. According to the ordinance, violations will be punished with the immediate confiscation of the vehicle. The regulation does not apply to vehicles belonging to the PYD, the Asayiş, the People’s Defense Units (YPG), or the Women’s Defense Units (YPJ), in other words vehicles in and on which the flags of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its affiliated organizations as well as pictures of its leader Abdullah Öcalan are displayed.
The ordinance is presumably in response to a conflict between the Kurdish National Council and the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV‑DEM) in connection with the funeral service for the victims of the attack on a Newroz celebration in al‑Hasakah [further information]. Despite the protests of the Kurdish National Council, TEV‑DEM prevented the coffins from being covered with Kurdish flags.

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