Home Thematic Reports Arrests of Kurds Politicians and Opponents in Northeastern Syria- June 2018

Arrests of Kurds Politicians and Opponents in Northeastern Syria- June 2018

Pro-Autonomous Administration Asayesh Forces Seized As Well Houses Belonging to Kurds Politicians and Opponents

by wael.m
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Introduction: The security services of the Autonomous Administration represented in the Asayesh Forces have arrested several political and opposition Kurds and supporters of the Kurdish national Council (KNC) in north-eastern Syria, specifically in areas under its control, during June 2018.

On June 20, 2018, the Asayesh Forces arrested Ahmed Ibrahim[1], member of the Kurdish Future Movement in Syria, from his house located in Qamishli city, along with Mohammad Dahham Ayo, member of the advisory body of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), before being released the next day.

Furthermore, on June 21, 2018, it arrested Riyad Ahmed,  member of the Relations Office in the Future Movement, and Milad Delly,  member of the Future Movement while they were at the house of the detainee Ahmed Ibrahim to check on his family. In Qamishli on the same day was also the arrest of Azad Mohammad Ma'soum, the son of Mohamed Ma'soum, the Kurdish politician and a member of the Logical Committee of the Kurdish Yekiti Party. Whereas on June 22, 2018 the father Mohamed Ma'soum was detained in addition to one of his relatives, identified as Rashad Ma'soum, but according to the field researcher of STJ, Ma'soum along with his son and his cousin were released on June 26, 2018.

The Asayish forces had already detained the foreign relations official in the Kurdish Future Movement in Syria, Abdulhameed Tammo from the countryside of Darbasiyah city on June 3, 2018, before being released two days later June 5th.

The field researcher stated that elements of the Asayesh forces who carried out the arrests were masked men without disclosing their identity nor giving any arrest or detention warrants for the detainees nor for their relatives, indicating that the Asayesh forces had earlier seized houses belong to Kurd politicians and opponents in Qamishli city. On June 8, 2018, the house of Bangin Aliko, son of the leader in the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria Fouad Aliko, was seized and two displaced families from Afrin city were housed instead. The next day, the house of Amina Bro sister of Ibrahim Bro the Kurdish politician and secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party and member of the Foreign Relations Committee of KNC of Syria was seized after Amina along with her husband and children were dismissed from the house on demands of immediate evacuation.

Previously, pro-Autonomous Administration Asayesh forces had detained a number of Kurdish politicians and opponents in April 2018, including Faisal Al-Yousef the General Coordinator of the Kurdish Reform Movement but released him later. STJ had prepared a report on that incident. And it arrested Ne'mat Dawood, Secretary of the Kurdish Democratic Equality Party of Syria, and released him later as published  in a report prepared by STJ.  They had also arrested Fadi Mar'ei, head of the Public Relations Office of the Kurdish Future Movement in Syria, and released him later; STJ had also published a report concerning the incident.

First: New Arrest Campaign Against Kurd Politicians and Opponents

Wednesday evening at 10:00, June 20, 2018, the Asayesh Forces arrested Ahmad Ibrahim, member of the Kurdish Future Movement, from his home located in Qamishli. Ali Tammi, member of the Public Relation Office of the Future Movement, confirmed this and said, 

"That evening, an armed group, about 10 masked persons, knocked the door of Ahmad's house. As soon as he opened the door, they blindfolded him and arrested him without explaining the reason to his family. The next day June 21, 2018,  at around 8:00 pm, like the same way, they arrested Riyad Ahmad and Milad Delly while they were at Ahmad's house to check the family and console them."

June 20, 2018, witnessed the arrest of Mohammed Dahham Ayo, member of the Advisory Body of Kurdistan Democratic Party- (KDP) Syria and head of the local council of KNC in Qamishli. He was arrested from his house located in Qamishli on the evening. STJ's field researcher said he was released on June 21, 2018 which means within less than one day.

Pro-Autonomous Administration Asayesh Forces continued the arrest campaign the following day. June 21, 2018, they arrested Azad Mohammed Ma'soum, son of the Kurdish politician Mohammed Ma'soum who is also member of the Logical Committee at Kurdish Yekiti Party. A source from the family stated to STJ that an armed group of the Asayesh had arrested Azad Ma'soum, 17 years old,  from his house in the al-Gharbey neighborhood located in Qamishli in the afternoon, indicating that the next day on June 22, 2018, specifically at 8:30 am, they arrested his father along with one of his relatives identified as Rashad Ma'soum. They were all detained for several days and were released on June 26, 2018.

Earlier, June 3, 2018, the Asayesh Forces had arrested Abdulhameed Tammo, the Foreign relations official at the Kurdish Future Movement in Syria and also member of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. A vehicle carrying five armed masked men halted him in the countryside of Darbasiyah, they directed the nozzles of their guns towards him preventing him from running away  and got him off his car, blindfolded him and took him to an unknown destination. Abdulhameed was kept in detention for two days then was released on June 5, 2018.

Second: Denouncing and Disapproving Responses

As response to the aforementioned arrest operations, the General Secretariat of Kurdish National Council/KNC  in a press release on Friday 22 June 2018, considered the arrest operations as  complement to the policy of shutting mouths practiced by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) demanding the immediate release of the supporters, cadres, leaderships of the KNC.   

For its part, the Media Office loyal to the Kurdish Future Movement in Syria in a statement issued on Thursday 21 June 2018, bearing PYD the full responsibility of any harm that the detainees might experience, demanding for their immediate release in addition to all political prisoners.

Adel Center for Human Rights  in a statement issued on June 21, 2018, denounced the recent arrest operations carried out by armed elements affiliated to the Asayesh Forces, indicating that the arrests violate the rights and freedoms enshrined in the international Human rights charters, conventions and laws, and that they do not solve the unresolved problems among the political parties competing within the framework of the Kurdish society, which are emphasized in the charters and agreements on peace and human rights, need in-depth dialogue in an atmosphere of freedom, democracy, pluralism, equality and respect of the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens.

Third: Seizure of Houses Belong to Kurds Politicians and Opponents

Practices of the Asayesh Forces of the Autonomous Administration were not limited to arrests, they also confiscated houses of Kurdish politicians and opponents. For example, in the city of Qamishli on Friday, June  8, 2018, the Asayesh seized the house of Bangin Aliko, son of Fouad Aliko[2], leader in the Kurdish Yekiti Party and member of the political and the supreme body for negotiations in the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces; two displaced families from Afrin were housed instead, the field researcher said.

The following day, June 9, 2018, the Asayesh Forces also seized the house of Amina Bro, sister of Ibrahim Bro, the political and Secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party; they kicked her out along with her family and demanded her to evacuate the house located in Qamishli. Masked elements of the Asayesh Forces had stormed into her home earlier, as Amina Bro reported to STJ.

The field researcher of STJ stated that the Asayesh Forces  released Akram Khalaf, member of the Secretarial Office at the Students and Youth Union of Democratic Kurdistani-West on June 28, 2018, after they had arrested him in the dawn of Wednesday June 27, 2018. 




[1]  According to STJ's field researcher, Ahmed Ibrahim,  Milad Delly and Riyad Ahmed, members of the Kurdish Future Movement  in Syria are still being held by the Asayesh forces until the date of preparing this report June 27, 2018, reporting that moreover, the Asayesh Forces arrested at dawn on Wednesday 27 June 2018, member of the secretarial office of the Students  and  Youth Union of  Democratic Kurdistani- West, "Akram Khalaf", from inside his home in the city of Qamishli, without any further information received.

[2] According the field researcher, the Public Prosecutory of the Court of Defense in Cizire had earlier filed a lawsuit against the ex-head of the KNC Ibrahim Bro and Fouad Aliko on charges of treason, conducting terrorist actions and killing of civilians.  

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