At dawn on Monday, 2 April 2018, the Asayesh security forces of Autonomous Administration detained the general coordinator of the Kurdish Reform Movement (Faisal Yusuf), who also serves as a member of the presidential body of the Kurdish National Council in Syria, at his house in Qamishli/ Qamishlo city in Al-Hasakah province, which is held by the Autonomous Administration.
Who is Faisal Yusuf?
A Syrian Kurdish politician, born in Shurak village, "northeast of Qamishli/ Qamishlo city in Al-Hasakah province", holds a degree in Philosophy from Damascus University. He was elected as a member of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party’s Central Committee in 1992 and became a member of the Party’s Political Bureau in 1993, he served as a member of the "Committees for the Revival of Civil Society" at its founding in Damascus in 2001, and he is a co-founder of the Human Rights Association of Syria.
He also contributed to the preparation of the first negotiating table on the Kurdish issue in Damascus, Syria 2001, in which many Syrian politicians and intellectuals participated calling it the "Round Table". Participants reached an agreement on the need to the constitutional recognition of the Kurdish people in Syria and of their political and cultural rights.
Yusuf also is one of the founders of the reform current in the the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party, which was transformed in 2010 into an independent political movement in the name of the Reform Movement-Syria, and had presided over the National Council in 2012, he was also a member of the Kurdish Supreme Commission in 2013 and is currently the general coordinator of the Kurdish Reform Movement in Syria, and a member of the Presidium of the Kurdish National Council.
Second: Circumstances and Details of the Detention
The detention was arbitrary, according to a member of the Kurdish politician Faisal Yusuf’s family, who spoke to Syrians for Truth and Justice/STJ saying:
"At 1:30 a.m. on Monday, the door of our house was knocked loudly, and before we open more than fifteen masked gunmen" unidentified " raided our house, saying that they were from the General Security and had a warrant for Faisal’s arrest. They took him by three military vehicles to an unknown destination, and we don't yet know anything about his fate or where he was taken.”
He added that the health status of Yusuf is not good, as he has heart-related health problems and diabetes, so he needs health care and daily medical follow-up.
Members of Yusuf’s family indicated that his diabetes and heart medication should be delivered to him immediately due to his bad health condition.
Informed sources revealed to STJ that arresting Yusuf came against the backdrop of treason charges made by the Autonomous Administration’s executive council against members in the "Yekîtî" party and the leadership of the Kurdish National Council after the battles of Afrin, demanding the executive council to hold accountable those “abusers”, as he called them, in The Kurdish National Council and to clarify its position on the control of the Turkish army and factions of the "Free Syrian Army" on Afrin city.
Third: Condemnations for the Detention
In its response to the arrest of Yusuf, the General Secretariat of the Kurdish National Council, said on Monday 2 April 2018, through a statement, that Yusuf's arrest was a desperate attempt to dissuade the Council from its struggle plan, national project, positions and policies aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis as well as obtaining constitutional recognition of the Kurdish people’s national rights. The statement strongly condemned these actions by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which it described as irresponsible, demanding the immediate release of Mr. Faisal Yusuf and all the prisoners of conscience in their jails.
In turn, the executive office of the Kurdish Reform Movement in Syria, condemned on Monday 2 April 2018, what it termed the abduction of the general coordinator of the Movement, where it said that such irresponsible practices and actions by the PYD would not discourage the Movement and the Kurdish National Council in Syria to struggle and demand the rights of the Kurdish people in Syria.
In its statement, the Movement’s executive office held the PYD full responsible for the safety of "Faisal Yusuf", who suffers from heart-related health problems and diabetes, demanding the immediate release of him and all political detainees in its prisons.
The statement of the executive office of the Reform movement called on the Kurdish forces and human rights organizations to intervene and pressure the PYD to stop its illegal practices and to put an end to its violations by force of arms.
For its part, organizations working in human rights advocacy including (Kurdish Organization for Human rights in Syria (DAD), the National Human Rights Organization in Syria, the Kurdish Committee for Human Rights in Syria “observer”, the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Syria, the Human Rights Organization in Syria (MAF), the Organization for the Defense of Detainees of Opinion Organization in Syria “Rewangeh” and the Committees for the Defense of Democracy Freedoms and Human Rights in Syria), appealed to all governmental and non-governmental bodies in Syria and the regional and international human rights bodies, to work apace to reveal the fate of "Faisal Yusuf" and to release him immediately and unconditionally.
The above-mentioned organizations considered the abduction and the enforced disappearance of Yusuf, a flagrant violation of all domestic, regional and international laws, treaties and conventions on the Protection of human Rights. Noting that the continued detention of Yusuf seriously threatens his life and flagrantly violates of the obligations of the international community under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, namely articles 9, 14, 19, 21 and 22.
The National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces condemned, through a statement published on its official website, the arrest and held the Democratic Union Party PYD fully responsible for the life of Yusuf.
In the same vein, the Assyrian Democratic Organizations/ADO strongly condemned the arbitrary approach of the Autonomous Administration in dealing with political activists, and held its authorities fully responsible for what Mr. Faisal Yusuf may be subjected to and demanding that it release him and all the prisoners of conscience immediately, and stop these practices that are contrary to the democratic ideology and the values and principles of human rights.
The Asayish Forces affiliated to the Autonomous Administration had released four members of the Kurdish National Council, whom it was detained in the city of Qamishli/Qamishlo "north-eastern Syria", on the last Tuesday, 13 February. Among those released were "Alan Salim Ahmed", a reporter for Yekîtî Media website of the Yekîtî Kurdish Party in Syria, Saleh Jamil, Junaid Sayed Majid and Dahham Ramadan Hassan, members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)-Syria. Although "Alan Salim Ahmed", has spent more than one and a half year in Autonomous Administration prisons.