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ʿAyn al-ʿArab: Another activist kidnapped and mistreated by PYD

KURDWATCH, September 20, 2011—On September 1, 2011, an armed group in ʿAyn al-ʿArab (Kobanî) kidnapped and ill-treated the high school graduate Mustafa al-Mahmud (b. 1992). A total of four people, including one woman, took part in the kidnapping. At least two of the kidnappers were Kurds from Turkey. The driver of the car used in the kidnapping was Hasan Khalil Hamoke, a member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) who is known in the region. After witnesses identified the car and the driver, Mustafa al-Mahmud was released on September 2, 2011. As a reason for the kidnapping, the PYD in ʿAyn al-ʿArab claimed that Mustafa al-Mahmud had sold drugs and that they had wanted to teach him a lesson. In fact, Mustafa al-Mahmud is an activist who regularly partakes in dissident demonstrations in ʿAyn al-ʿArab. For months the PYD has been trying to stop all dissident demonstrations in both ʿAyn al-ʿArab and ʿAfrin. Moreover, multiple activists in Aleppo and ʿAfrin have been threatened in recent months.

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