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Ad-Darbasiyah: Activist killed in kidnapping

KURDWATCH, April 5, 2012—On March 29, 2012, Khalaf Muhammad al‑Qatna (b. 1990) died under circumstances that remain unclear. According to one version, four armed Democratic Union Party (PYD) members stormed his apartment in ad‑Darbasiyah and accused him of having insulted Abdullah Öcalan. They abducted the Ahrar youth group activist, known under the code name Ciwan, and took him to a nearby town. When security forces intervened, Kamal Husayn, a member of the PYD-affiliated People’s Committee, was killed, another kidnapper was injured, and another arrested. Ciwan was allegedly already dead when security forces arrived. Along with bullet wounds, his body is said to have exhibited signs of torture to his head.
According to a second version, PYD members were attempting to free Ciwan from the control of an armed gang when security forces intervened, killing both the PYD‑member and Ciwan. In fact, Ciwan’s family had previously contacted the PYD and asked for either Ciwan’s release, or, if the PYD was not responsible for his kidnapping, to intercede in the affair.
While some activists of the Ahrar group are harsh critics of the PKK, Ciwan was considered reserved in his opinions. One activist told KurdWatch that the PYD had »sought out the weakest of the group in order to intimidate everyone else«. Two separate funeral marches took place to mark the burials of the two who were killed.

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