Arrests for Conscription or on Ethnic Basis
A Self-management consisting primarily of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its pro-forces, the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK)’s branch in Syria, was established in January 2014. We have recorded, in many past reports, the violations committed by the PYD from 2012 until the establishment of what is called the Self-management, and from the time it reemerged until now.
In a past statement, we stressed that there is a systematic notable rise in the numbers of arbitrary arrests, enforced-disappearances, and oppression of freedoms in the areas in which the Self-management forces expanded and managed take over. This alarmingly reflected on the various aspects of life in these areas, and the freedom of journalism and political activism has primarily deteriorated.
We noticed that some of the arrests and raids that were carried out in early-2017 were on ethnic basis under the pretext of seeking out ISIS cells in the Arab-majority villages of al Qamishly city’s suburbs, specifically the villages of (Tal al Tahin, Tal Habash, Abu Kabra, al Tayma’, Salima, Khuza’a) which are currently under the control of Self-management forces. The detainees team at SNHR recorded no less than 31 arbitrary arrests on January 20 and January 23, 2017, including 11 individuals from the same family, where a sick child and woman were arrested among the family members in Tal al Tahin village. The detainees’ family we contacted have confirmed that the arrest campaign was led by Alwan Khanik, a leader at the Self-management forces, where he used heavy weapons to terrorize the residents, which led to one civilian being injured by a gunshot after he protested the manner in which the arrests were being carried out. Most of the raids took place at approximately 04:00 AM.
Self-management forces kept the detainees in their prisons in Tal Hamis and al Qahtaniya villages in the suburbs of al Qamishly city. Also, silos were turned into detention centers, and the families of the detainees were prohibited from visiting and ask about their beloved ones. The same families are fearing that Self-management forces will arrest them, and beat and torture them in case they kept asking about their detained beloved ones as we recorded in a number of similar cases. The Self-management hasn’t determined the charges for the detainees, or put them on trial.