MIDDLE EAST

YPG forcefully detains Kurdish dissidents in Syria

The PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), continue to violate human rights and oppression against political opponents in territories in northern Syria under its control.

The Syrian Kurdish National Council (ENKS) said on late Sunday in a written statement that the terrorist organization raided a village near Al-Malikiyah town near the Iraq border and forcefully detained five members of ENKS.

According to the statement, YPG militias searched younger villagers and then detained Bassam Abdulkadr, Siban Muhammed Ahmed, Nuri Yusuf Hangar, Rashid Mahtac Omar and Mivan Abdullah Keles. The statement also condemned the acts of terrorism committed against their organization and called for human rights organization and Kurdish parties to pressure the YPG.

ENKS is a coalition of Syrian Kurdish parties known to oppose the YPG after the group became more dominant in northern Syria. ENKS is also a part of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), a representative body of the Syrian opposition taking part in the Geneva talks since 2015. It has long been critical of the YPG's oppression of rival political voices and actions like burning down its offices and arresting or kidnapping its members. It has also claimed that the YPG is working with the Bashar Assad regime.

The power vacuum sparked by the Syrian civil war gave the YPG an opportunity to practically apply its form of governance and form communes as dictated by its ideology. After Daesh was cleared from the region with the help of the U.S., the YPG tightened its grip by establishing a de facto autonomous region in Syria.

In a bid to cement its power, the terrorist group frequently employs oppressive and cruel means to inflict fear within the public and hush dissidents. In addition to its lengthy record of human rights abuses ranging from recruiting child soldiers, torture, ethnic cleansing, destroying and confiscating homes of locals. The YPG has also been kidnapping Kurdish politicians and important figures who have criticized them for a number of reasons. The terrorist group also murdered at least 40 Kurdish opposition politicians, activists and journalists between 2012 and 2014.

The recent reports published by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) in February and March, revealed the dark side of the atrocities inflicted by the terrorist organization. According to the March reports of SNHR, the YPG arbitrarily arrested 42 people including three children and two women and killed 18 civilians since the beginning of 2019. The same human rights organizations also documented the terrorist organization's oppressive policies against political dissidents. A report issued in February said that the self- management forces, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party which is another YPG branch, has escalated the frequency of arrests and enforced disappearances since the beginning of 2019 with an intensification of their policy of harassment, repression and violation of basic human rights in the territories under their control.

At least 107 individuals including four children and six women were found to be detained in raid and arrest campaigns of the terrorist organization in both Raqqa and Hasakah governorates. The report also underscored that the YPG targeted individuals participating in protests against their policies, as well as targeting dignitaries and tribal sheikhs who refused to support their policies, such as the imposition of conscription, or refused to condemn protests against them.

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