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ʿAyn al-ʿArab/ʿAfrin: PYD uses force to prevent demonstrations

KURDWATCH, July 6, 2012—At the beginning of the Kurdish National Council's Friday demonstrations on June 29, 2012, armed units of the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Committees closed several streets leading to the demonstrators' main gathering point in ʿAynal‑ʿArab (Kobanî). They positioned sharpshooters on the rooftops, fired into the air, attacked demonstrators, and kidnapped several dozen of them. Most of the kidnapped victims were released the same day. However, Mustafa Sheikho (member of the Kurdish National Council and leader of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria—Reform Movement) was not immediately released. ʿUmar Kalo, member of the Kurdish National Council's media committee, told KurdWatch, »On June 30, the PYD informed the local committee of the Kurdish National Council that Mustafa Sheikho would be released when they picked him up. We refused this. We in no way accept such actions by the PYD. We want the PYD to release our captives and apologize«. Sheikho was released on June 30.
On June 29, participants in a demonstration planned by the Kurdish National Council in ʿAfrin were also attacked in the manner described above. Dozens of people were kidnapped and brutally beaten. KurdWatch has the names of the following kidnapped victims: Siamend Ahmad Tshawish, Ahmad Kamal Tshawish, ʿAbdulrahman Ahmad Bakir, ʿAbdulqadir Najar, Zaradasht Muhammad Haji, Ahmad ʿAlo, Shiar Bakir, Mustafa Bakir, and Hashim Sheikh Naʿsan. Moreover on the same day, Azad Wali [member of the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî)], who was being sought by the PYD, was kidnapped by PYD‑supporters in Aleppo. All those who were kidnapped were released the same day.

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