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KURDWATCH, April25, 2015—On April 15, 2015, Farid Saʿdun, dean of the College of Humanities at Euphrates University in al‑Hasakah, was kidnapped by unknown persons in al‑Qamishli and turned over to the Syrian regime’s security forces. An eyewitness reported that the kidnappers spoke Kurdish. Saʿdun was released a day later. According to information obtained by KurdWatch, however, the stipulation was made that he must again report to the Syrian regime’s security forces in al‑Hasakah. A nephew of the kidnap victim told KurdWatch: »In an interview Rudaw‑TV about a week ago, my uncle reported on the situation in the province [al‑Hasakah] and on emigration due to the PYD. That’s probably why he was kidnapped.«

 

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KURDWATCH, April 23, 2015—On April 17, 2015, the Kurdish Front (formerly Kurdish Front Brigade) [further information] celebrated the completion of training for thirty new recruits with a two hour military parade at a military camp on the outskirts ʿAfrin. In recent years, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has banned or broken up all military units of other Kurdish parties as well as of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the territories under its control; however, it tolerates the activities of the Kurdish Front, which is seen as having close ties to the PYD.

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KURDWATCH, April 23, 2015—On April 14, 2015, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union (PYD), released Ahmad Muhammad ʿAmo (b. 2000 in ʿAfrin) in ʿAfrin. ʿAmo was kidnapped a year ago. His father told KurdWatch: »They only admitted to the kidnapping six months later. They accused my son of being a member of a Free Syrian Army unit. But that isn’t true. The real reason for his kidnapping was his participation in dissident demonstrations.«

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KURDWATCH, April 22, 2015—On April 10, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), forcibly recruited a number of refugees in the village of Qalʿat al‑Hisn (Kalhê), located twenty-five kilometers south of al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik) and only five hundred meters from the border. Those in question were young men who were trying to cross the Syrian-Iraqi border illegally in order to escape forced recruitment by the PYD. The exact number of recruits could not be determined. According to eyewitness reports, approximately fifty people in three Asayiş vehicles were handed over to the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG).

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KURDWATCH, April 21, 2015—On April 12, 2015, the Committee on Internal Affairs for the transitional administration in the canton of ʿAfrin, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), published ordinance number 105, which prohibits the display of flags and photos of political figures and martyrs in and on public places, shops, and private vehicles. The ordinance stipulates that violations will be punished with legal action. A similar ordinance was published on March 30, 2015 in the canton of Jazirah [further information]. Independent activists and politicians critical of the PYD fear that the intent of the ordinance is to ensure that only PKK-affiliated symbols are permitted in the Kurdish regions of Syria.

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KURDWATCH, April 18, 2015—On April 12, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), broke into the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S). They seized a television and a computer.

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KURDWATCH, April 17, 2015—On April 11, 2015, fifty-one recruits were released in Tall Baidar (twenty-five kilometers east of Tall Tamr) after completing six months of forced military service with the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). They were drafted on October 11, 2014 in the course of a large-scale forced recruiting. It is unclear if all of the recruits drafted at that time have been released from service.

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KURDWATCH, April 16, 2015—On April 8, 2015, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), released Hashim Ibrahim Miho, member of the local committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S), from a prison in the village of Rumaylan, approximately one and a half kilometers southwest of al‑Maʿbada. Miho was kidnapped from his home in al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik) on June 30, 2014, shortly after his return from Iraqi-Kurdistan.

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KURDWATCH, April 16,  2015—On April 7, 2015, Turkish soldiers at a border crossing near the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) opened fire on refugees who were trying to cross the Syrian-Turkish border illegally. Forty-four-year-old ʿAbdulkarim Saho (b. in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab [Kobanî]) was killed. Another person was injured.

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KURDWATCH, April 14, 2015—On April 8, 2015, fighters for the Islamic State (IS) once again began an offensive to the south and west of Tall Tamr. They set fire to oil tankers so that the resulting billows of smoke would complicate a potential intervention by the US‑Air Force. Fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) were able to stop the attack. The IS is still only two kilometers from Tall Tamr; however, the Khabur considerably complicates an advance on the city.

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New interview:
Ahmad Mustafa, former member of the dissident Youth Movement of Aleppo: »I wish that international human rights organizations would put pressure on the PYD so that they would return my son to me«

KURDWATCH, Februar 4, 2015—At the beginning of the Syrian revolution, Ahmad Muhammad Mustafa, b. 1977 in Khaltan near ʿAfrin, became involved with the dissident Youth Movement of Aleppo. To punish him, the PKK had his wife murdered and kidnapped his son. To this day, Ahmad Mustafa is wanted by the PKK. He has been living abroad since 2013.

[Read more]

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