Conscription Law: PYD calls on Syria Kurds to ‘defend dignity’

MESOP : Forced recruitment is human rights violation

July 19, 2014 – ARA News – Kilis, Turkey – A “conscription law” was ratified earlier this week by the legislative council of the Auto-Administration in northeastern Syria (led by the Democratic Union Party “PYD” and other allied parties.The law stipulates “the duty of self-defence in the Syrian areas which falls under the rule of the “Democratic Auto-Administration”.  The law obliges families living in the region to send one of their 18-30 year-old members to the defence duty, which lasts for six months, either continuously or intermittently over one year time. Exempting the “disabled or sick” was mentioned in the law as well as exempting families whose members have earlier joined the PYD-linked forces of the Assayish, the Kurdistani Liberation Movement (KCK), the Popular Protection Units (YPG) or Women Protection Units (YPJ). The law stipulates some penalties in case of “non-adherence”.

Namat Dawod, member of Secretariat General of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) (a rival force to the PYD), stated to ARA News:”This law will have negative consequences on the Kurdish status and on the relationship between our council and Council of Western Kurdistan —linked to the PYD.” “KNC has sent a letter to Council of Western Kurdistan to consider that a unified attitude is the only means to overcome challenges, but not such law,” Dawod said.Speaking to ARA News, KNC member Mustafa Misto said: “Defending the land is a national and compulsory duty of each individual.”Misto asserted the importance of defence law under Syria’s current situations in general and “the situations of Kurdish regions (Kurdish-majority areas) in particular.”“However, the non-legitimacy of the legislator of this law supposes the illegitimacy of the law itself,” Misto argued.In Misto’s opinion, “PYD received power in northeastern Syria from the Syrian regime, and is using arms to prevail, while dealing with other Kurdish parties and forces in a totalitarian way”.“PYD refused to include others in political life to gain the whole benefit of the current phase,” Misto continued.Misto thinks that such law does not protect Kurdish regions but “recruits people to serve PYD agendas that has nothing to do with the Kurdish issue in Syria”.

“By ratifying such law, PYD is refusing any participatory project whether now or in the future to administrate Syria’s Kurdish areas,” Misto told ARA News. “Marginalizing other Kurdish forces is an attempt to push them to submit to the PYD.” Secretariat-General of KNC in Syria officially rejected the “conscription law” and previously refused to join the PYD-led Auto-Administration in northern Syria. Moreover, it dismissed a number of its members who joined the Administration.