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Al-Qamishli: Forcible recruitments and kidnappings accompany the funeral of Rojava Peshmerga

KurdWatch, November 30, 2015—On November 13, 2015, several hundred supporters of the Kurdish National Council accompanied the bodies of three Rojava Peshmerga killed by the Islamic State (IS) during the liberation of Sinjar (Iraqi‑Kurdistan) from the Faysh Khabur border crossing near al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik) towards al‑Qamishli. The funeral march was stopped at several checkpoints run by the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), so that it didn’t reach al-Qamishli until late in the evening. According to eyewitness reports, numerous young men were forcibly recruited at checkpoints.

On November 14, two of the dead were buried in ʿAmudah and one in al‑Qamishli. The Asayiş warned the residents of the city of ʿAmudah in advance that they should not participate in any sort of rally. They allegedly had information that a car bomb was to be detonated in the city. The Asayiş kidnapped numerous people from the funeral marches on November 13 and from the funeral marches and burial on November 14. These people reportedly stand accused of participation in an unauthorized demonstration. The Kurdish National Council published the names of a total of fifteen people who were kidnapped or forcibly recruited in connection with the funeral.  

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