Kurdish group denounces members' arrests by rival movement in Syria

The Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) on Wednesday condemned a series of arrests carried out by the Asayish security and police forces, which are affiliated to its rival Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

"The Kurdish National Council in Syria condemns the persecution of Kurdish politicians and political activists, and demands the immediate release of all political detainees in PYD custody," a statement by the KNC said.

The KNC called on the international community to take a public stance against "the repressive practices of the PYD and against its large-scale violations of human rights in the areas under their control."

The KNC has always accused the PYD, which is close to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), of working closely with the Syrian regime of president Bashar al-Assad, while the PYD have accused the KNC of having foreign agendas and closely linked with Turkey.

The KNC in their statement said that the Asayish on Monday arrested numerous activists and sympathizers of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekiti) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party Syria (KDP) who are mmbers of the KNC and are key members of the Syrian opposition National Coalition.

It said the arrests took place mainly in Qamishli, a city in north-eastern Syria on the border with Turkey, adding that among the arrested persons are two members of the KDP politiburo and two members of its central committee and at least nine Yekiti members.

"All abducted persons were involved in the organization of the funeral ceremony for a ... fighter Habib Qadri, who was killed in Iraqi Kurdistan during the fight against the so called Islamic State [organization]. The PYD armed forces attacked the funeral cortege," the statement said.

The statement alleged that more arrests were carried out Tuesday after several demonstrations took place to denounce the Asayish actions against its members in Amoudah and Qamishli. According to the statement, some of the detainees were released following the protests, but 28 were still detained.

The Kurdish ARA News Agency said that the general command of the Asayish said in a statement that they have arrested dozens of PYD supporters who tried to attack the mourners during the funeral and confiscated their weapons. Moreover, they said they have arrested KNC supporters who allegedly "insulted" its forces.

The tension between the two Kurdish rival parties started Saturday when the KNC leader in Syria, Ibrahim Biro, was arrested by Asayish near the central market of Qamishli. After being held for some six hours, Biro was expelled by the Asayish to the Iraqi Kurdistan region, the KNC said.

The KNC has openly opposed a decision in March by the PYD and other parties close to it to establish a federal region in northern Syria.

The armed branch of the PYD, known as the People's Defence Units YPG, has been very active in fighting against the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria.

Last update: Thu, 18/08/2016 - 02:11

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