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Sulaymaniyah: Father of child soldier sets himself on fire in front of PYD‑office

KURDWATCH, July 9, 2015—On July 1, 2015, Walid ʿAbdurrahman (forty-three years old, b. in al‑Qamishli, married, several children) set himself on fire in front of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) office in the Iraqi-Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah to protest the recruitment of his son. On June 28, 2015, PYD members had recruited fifteen-year-old Birin as a fighter for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) without Walid ʿAbdurrahman’s permission. When ʿAbdurrahman demanded Birin’s return at the PYD office in Sulaymaniyah, he was told that Birin was already at the PKK headquarters in the Iraqi-Kurdish Qandil Mountains and that the PYD was no longer able to make decisions on his return. After this, Walid ʿAbdurrahman set himself on fire in front of the office. Family members put out the fire and took him to the hospital. In an interview with the Iraqi-Kurdish television station Rudaw, the father later stated that he would set himself on fire again if the PYD does not bring back his son.

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