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ʿAfrin: Asayiş abduct employees of an aid organization

KurdWatch, December 29, 2015—On December 8, 2015 employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stormed the office and work locations of the aid organization Bihar in ʿAfrin. According to the aid organization, the Asayiş took fifteen Bihar employees and four activists not employed by the organization. In addition, laptops, cameras and papers were taken. The next day the Asayiş abducted a physician, the owner of a hospital in ʿAfrin administered by Bihar. On December 16, the aid organization reported that the last of the twenty abductees had been released. Other sources have placed the number of kidnapped persons at twenty‑two, with the opposition member Barkhwadan Mustafa still at the mercy of the Asayiş. In a statement by the PYD‑apponited administration of the ʿAfrin canton, »contact to groups that are the enemies of the autonomous administration, spreading lies about the administration, and smuggling and re‑selling aid supplies« are the apparent reasons for the abductions. On its website, the aid organization said that its offices and health stations in ʿAfrin are closed until further notice for security reasons and that all aid programs are temporarily closed.

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