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Rudaw

Syria

KNC denounces PYD’s intimidation of critics in Rojava

By Rudaw 16/8/2016
Ibrahim Biro, president of the Kurdish National Council. Photo: Rudaw video
Ibrahim Biro, president of the Kurdish National Council. Photo: Rudaw video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Kurdish National Council (KNC, ENKS) denounced the “common practice” of intimidation of political activists and journalists in Rojava, northern Syria by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

KNC members, other Kurdish politicians, and critics of the PYD “suffer constantly from threats and from the deprivation of freedom of movement across the Syrian-Iraqi border,” the party said in a press release on Tuesday following the arrest of its president, Ibrahim Biro, by the Asayesh (security forces) in Qamishli on Sunday. 

President Biro was abducted by the PYD’s Asayesh police force at gunpoint on Sunday afternoon and then detained at “an unknown place” for six hours, stated the press release from the KNC’s office in Geneva. 

Biro was then deported by the PYD to the Kurdistan Region and was warned that if he returned to Syria, “he would be killed.” 

The statement concludes that this is “why already more than a million Kurds fled the area.” 

By deporting President Biro the KNC say that the PYD is “not only expelling a Syrian Kurd from his home country, but at the same time restraining a popular Kurdish politician challenging their power from working inside Syria.” 

The KNC issued a call for people who favour freedom and democracy to condemn the authoritarianism and political suppression of the PYD in Rojava by taking a public stance against Biro’s arrest and deportation. 

Biro, speaking to Rudaw on Sunday, said that the PYD had detained him for the KNC’s political activities.  

“The KNC is really doing a great job in Rojava and our people believe in our political movement,” Biro said, before going on to predict that the PYD will fail since “it is impossible for the people of Syria to accept another dictatorship.” 

Biro expected the PYD would take some action against him. On July 17, in the Kurdistan Region before traveling to Rojava, Biro told Rudaw that, “[The authorities] tell me that I should not return to Rojava, otherwise I will be arrested. But I do not care what they say and I will return.”

The KNC was founded in Erbil and sponsored by the Kurdistan Regional Government in October 2011 to participate in politics in Syria Kurdistan, which was just attaining de-facto autonomy. However, it has struggled to co-exist alongside the ruling PYD. 

The PYD has prevented the KNC’s 3,000-strong Rojava Peshmerga, trained in the Kurdistan Region, from entering Syrian Kurdish territory in order to help defend it against Islamic State (ISIS) militants.

On Monday, 18 members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (PDKS), including five of the leadership, were arrested in Qamishli, Rojava. The deputy leader of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (PYKS) was also arrested during the funeral for a Peshmerga who had been killed in the Kurdish offensive south of Mosul. 

The Rojava Asayesh released a statement regarding the arrests at the funeral. They state that the Asayesh intervened to confiscate weapons from PYD supporters who they say were looking to attack mourners at the funeral. Their forces were then attacked by KNC supporters. 

“We call on the leadership of the Asayesh, citizens, and all the parties to preserve civil peace,” reads the statement from the General Command of the Rojava Asayesh, “and respect the current laws in Rojava and orders from the Asayesh.”

“People should not exploit such ceremonies to create sedition and unrest for political interests.”

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kurt basar | 16/8/2016
Kurd's in Syria are already under pressure from the Turkish terrorist state & fighting for their live with the dictator Assad, Salafi Muslim ISIL savages, Al Qaeda & all of the other Muslim Jihad-i barbarians in Syria, who are Turkish terrorist state collaborators for to stop any Kurdish autonomy. But Kurd's of the Rojava at this critical time don't deserve this KNC thugs, who are shameless Kurd's by digging ditches between them and their Kurdish brethren of the Syria, betrayer of the E-Zidies & collaborators of the Turkish Salafi AKP cult & their Hitler wannabe president. God give them some brain & noble Kurdish dignity
Remo K
Remo K | 16/8/2016
Sounds like Kurdish enemies are managing to divide and rule again. When are we going to learn? Can we set aside our petty political differences (left-right) and concentrate on what matters, the Kurdish freedoms? Our women and children are looking at us as role models.
Biji Kurdistan | 16/8/2016
The KNC is hated by many Kurds in Rojava because they sided with the Syrian rebels instead of the Kurdish freedom movement. They wrongfully accused the PYD of being allied with the Syrian regime, despite many YPG fighters having fought and died against the Baathist regime in both Qamishli and Hasakeh. The KNC said they wanted a federation in Syria, but rejected the one proposed by the PYD. The KNC has done nothing of note for Rojava. They only create division and unrest, and then they blame the PYD for retaliating against their provocations. The KNC would be better received by Kurds in Rojava if they took that aggressive stance that they have against the PYD and aimed it at the Jihadists that are currently killing Kurds in Syria.
Sluth | 17/8/2016
It is common sense and in the interests of the Federation for the PYD to allow the KNC into the fold than to keep them on the outside. There undoubtedly a be a lot of fault on both sides. Whether he likes it or not (he won't) maybe Brett McGurk should now dangle some carrots to stitch up the silly grievances. The two respective fighting forces integrated professionally and neither should go anywhere near politics. I don't know where Turkey's influence sits with any of this either but what they do is never in anyones interests .... not even their own.
George | 17/8/2016
I still don't understand what ENKS has done for the Kurds. Anyone know what they have done/achieved?
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