Introduction The security apparatus of the Autonomous Administration presented in the Asayesh Forces arrested four Kurds politicians and opponents, as well as supporters of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) northeast Syria, specifically in its-controlled areas in July 2018.
On July 23, 2018, the Asayesh Forces arrested both Abdulhameed al-Khalil and Abdulmajeed Mousa, members of the Logical Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Union Party (PDK)-Syria in Ras al-Ein/Sari Kani. They are still under arrest until the date of writing this report.
On July 10, 2018, the Asayesh Forces arrested Shorash Murad, member of the Administrative Body of the Martyr Nasraddin Burhek Coordination (in Kurdish: hevrȇza Șehîd Nesradîn Bavȇ Ela), and who is also member of the KNC from his house located in al-Hilaliye neighborhood in Qamishli (Qamișlo). According to the field researcher of STJ, he is still under arrest until the date of writing this report on August 3, 2018.
On July 9, 2018, the Asayesh Forces had also arrested Daham Mohammed Othman, member of the Secretary Office of Students and Youth Union of Democratic Kurdistani-West, and who is also member of the Logical Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Union Party- Syria (PDK), from his home located in Kalahi town located in the countryside of Malikiyah (Derik), before they release him on July 21, 2018.
STJ's field researcher stated that elements of the Asayesh Forces who arrested Mohammed Daham Othman and Shorash Murad were masked and did not define their identities nor gave a warrant arrest to the detainees or to their families. But the elements who arrested Abdulhameed al-Khalil and Abdulmajeed Mousa were not masked, instead they defined their identities and said they were from the General Security affiliated with the Asayesh Forces.
On July 15, 2018, the Asayesh Forces had seized the headquarter of the Yekiti Kurdish Party in Syria, which belongs to one of its members and is located west of the Municipal Stadium in Qamishli (Qamișlo), the field researcher said.
The pro-Autonomous Asayesh Forces had already arrested several Kurds politicians and opponents in addition to supporters of the KNC in June 2018, and had seized houses belonging to relatives of the Kurds politicians and opponents in Qamishli (Qamișlo). STJ had prepared a report on those incidents.
April 2018 also had witnessed the arrest of several Kurds politicians and opponents by the pro-Autonomous Administration Asayesh Forces, including Faisal al-Yousef, the General Coordinator of the Kurdish Reform Movement, but released him later. STJ had also prepared a report on the incident. Ne'mat Dawood, Secretary of the Kurdish Democratic Equality Party-Syria, was also arrested but was released later; STJ had prepared a report on his arrest. Moreover, the arrest was inflicted on Fadi Mar'ei, head of the Public Relations Office of the Kurdish Future Movement-Syria, and he was released later as mentioned in another report prepared by STJ.
First: New Arrest Campaign of Kurds Politicians and Opponents
On July 23, 2018, the Asayesh Forces arrested Abdulhameed al-Khalil along with Abdulmajeed Mousa, members of the Logical Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Union Party (PDK)- Syria. A source within al-Khalil's family said the arrest was a day after storming their houses while they were out. The same source added the following:
"at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 22, 2018, someone knocked the door of al-Khalil's house, when his wife opened the door, she found four armed men from the Asayesh Forces, two of them were women. They asked about al-Khalil and she sais he was not at home. Therefore, they entered the house and looked for him everywhere, but they did not find him. They told her that they were from the General Security of the Asayesh Forces, and that her husband had to review them for some matter. After that, they left. At 8:30 p.m. on the same day, the same forces stormed the house of Abdulmajeed Mousa and searched the house looking for him. But they did not find him, too. So they told his family that he had to review them.
The next day, July 23, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. Abdulhameed al-Khalil headed to the General Security center located next to the A'laf (fodder) Roundabout in the west side of Ras al-Ein/ Sari Kani, but once he arrived there, they arrested him. Three hours later, at 2:00 in the afternoon, Abdulmajeed Mousa went to the General Security center, too. And similar to al-Khalil, once he arrived there, he was arrested, as well."
STJ's field researcher said that families of both al-Khalil and Mousa have no idea whether they are still detained in the General Security center of the Asayesh Forces or have been transferred to another detention facility.
Not only that, but on July 10, 2018, at 9:30 p.m. the Asayesh Forces arrested Shorash Murad, member of the Administrative Body of the Martyr Nasraddin Burhek Coordination (in Kurdish: hevrȇza Șehîd Nesradîn Bavȇ Ela), who is also member of the Kurdish National Council (KNC)-Syria.
Sources within Murad's family said an armed masked group of the Asayesh Forces had arrested Murad from inside his home located in al-Hilaliye neighborhood in Qamishli (Qamișlo), and he is still under arrest.
Prior to that, Monday July 9, 2018, at 11:30 p.m. the Asayesh Forces of the Autonomous Administrations arrested Daham Mohammed Othman, member of the Secretary Office of Students and Youth Union of Democratic Kurdistani-West, and who is also member of the Logical Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Union Party- Syria (PDK), from his house located in Kalahi village in al-Malikiyah (Derik). Hajar Hasan, Secretary of Students and Youth Union of Democratic Kurdistani-West, confirmed this and said,
"On that day, a black vehicle with tinted windows came to the village and the armed masked men who were inside it arrested Daham from his home. Daham was astonished when he opened the door and soon they blindfolded him and arrested him without explaining the reason to his family or defining their identities."
Othman was released on July 21, 2018, STJ's field researcher said.
Second: Denouncing and Disapproving Responses
As response to the aforementioned arrests, the General Secretariat of the Kurdish National Council-KNC in Syria in two separate statements, the first was on Wednesday July 11, 2018, and the second on Tuesday 24, 2018, considered the arrests flouting the feelings of the Kurdish people and their political movement, and is but a continuation of the gagging policy practiced by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The statements demanded the immediate release of the supporters, cadres and leaders of the KNC in its jails.
On the other hand, DAD the Kurdish organization for the defense of human rights, in its appeal on July 24, 2018, expressed uneasiness concerning the arrest of the politicians and the activists in the Autonomous Administration de facto-controlled areas, plus demanded the immediate release of all politicians and prisoners of conscience without conditions or limits.
In a statement released on July 26, 2018, by the organizations working in the field of human rights, including Committees for the Defence of Democratic Liberties and Human Rights in Syria, DAD the Kurdish organization for the defense of human rights, the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Syria (AOHR), the Organization for the Defence of Prisoners of Conscience in Syria (Rewangeh), the Kurdish Committee for Human Rights (Observer), the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, and the Human Rights Organization in Syria (MAF) all denounced the practices, arbitrary detentions, and the enforced disappearances carried out by armed patrols of the Asayesh Forces against Syrian Kurds politicians and opponents in al-Hasakah province, demanded the immediate release of all the enforced prisoners without conditions or limits, unless there are criminal charges confessed against them, and to present them soon to a fair tribunal that apply all fair trials standards.
Third: the Seizure of the Headquarter of the Kurdish Democratic Political Union (Yekiti Party) in Qamishli (Qamișlo)
According to the field researcher, practices of the pro-Autonomous Administration Asayish Forces were not limited to the arrests, as on Sunday morning July 15, 2018, they also seized the headquarters of the Yekiti Kurdish party located west of the Municipal Stadium in Qamishli/Qamișlo. Alternatively, the Central Committee of Yekiti the Kurdish party issued a statement on July 15, 2018, stated that the headquarters belonged to a member of the party's leadership, and that it was still under construction when the Autonomous Administration issued a decision to close down the offices of the political parties that were unregistered in March 2017. Moreover, the statement said that seizing the party's headquarter is just like the incident when the armed opposition factions in Afrin looted and seized the property by force. In addition, it called the international community and the pursued states to end the violence, find a political settlement to the Syrian crisis and take all necessary measures to secure civil peace and protect private and public property.