On Friday, December 2, 2016, supporters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) attacked a group of sympathisers and members of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) in al-Qamishli. The group of approximately one hundred activists was heading to a public press conference of the KNC in order to ask the PYD to release all political prisoners. The offenders threw stones and struck the activists with bludgeons and iron bars. The Asayiș, the security service of the PYD, was present, but intervened too late. None of the thugs was arrested. Instead, those attacked had to hand over their mobile phones. Later that day, the very same PYD supporters stormed the office of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) in al-Qamishli and destroyed the interior.
Ibrahim Biro, president of the KNC, stated: “The PYD forms violent gangs which are protected by the Asayiș. These gangs attack peaceful gatherings arguing that these gatherings aren’t authorised by the Asayiș. That is what the PYD’s democracy looks like: Bullies are protected, peaceful dissidents suppressed.”
“We utterly condemn all attacks against offices of member parties of the KNC. Our only ‘misdoing’ is our political engagement in opposition to the PYD. The PYD is not willing to respect democratic principles, principles that include the rights of the opposition”, added Kamiran Hajo, chairman of the Foreign Relations Office of the KNC.
It is not the first time that the PYD and its militias launch violent attacks on other Syrian-Kurdish parties, their supporters and facilities. Only two weeks ago, on November 17, 2016, the radio station Amudâ FM and the office of the Yekîtî in ‘Amudah were raided (Link). Apart from that, more than thirty members and leaders of the parties of the KNC are currently detained in PYD prisons without any criminal background.
04 December 2016
Kurdish National Council in Syria – Geneva Office