On Saturday, August 13, 2016, the KNC’s president, Ibrahim Biro, was abducted by the PYD-linked Asayiș in broad daylight. At 6 pm, two Asayiș vehicles stopped Biro’s car in the city centre of Qamișlo and forced him at gunpoint to enter their car without mentioning any reason for the arrest. They brought him to an unknown place and kept him there for six hours. Thereafter, Ibrahim Biro was deported to Iraqi Kurdistan, where the PYD set him free and threatened that, in case of his return to Syria, he would be killed.
The intimidation and expulsion of political activists, journalists and PYD-critics is a common practice of the PYD. Ibrahim Biro and other Kurdish politicians suffer constantly from (death) threats and from the deprivation of the freedom of movement across the Syrian-Iraqi border. This systematic persecution is one of the main reasons why already more than a million Kurds fled the area. Yet, the PYD even stepped up the level of escalation by the arbitrary arrest and deportation of the chairman of the KNC, thus, 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.
This practice is, undeniably, antidemocratic and violates fundamental rights of those affected. Persons in favour of freedom and democracy should speak out loudly against authoritarianism and political suppression. Thus, the KNC calls on all Syrians and the international community to take a public stance against the abduction and deportation of Ibrahim Biro by the PYD as well as against the PYD’s repressive approach in general.