Kurdish outrage over Syrian presidential elections


Syria Kurds protesting against the current presidential elections. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Derik, Amude, Syria – With the start of the Syrian presidential elections on Tuesday, many Kurdish activists and groups, inside and outside Syria, protested against holding these elections.

The protests’ slogans and screams condemned the elections process and the preparation of balloting centers in the Kurdish areas and called for boycotting them.

In the city of Derik (al-Malkiya) in northeastern Syria, the Kurdish Youth Movement (TCK) organized a protest to condemn the ongoing presidential elections, describing it “bloody elections” –in reference to the bloodshed coinciding with the elections.

Sabir Tayib, head of the TCK in Derik, told ARA News: “We condemn these elections or rather referendum, as it has been the same for forty years now.”

Tayib talked about the presidential candidates (three, including Bashar al-Assad himself) describing their participation as a farcical play that Syrian people would not believe.

“Who votes in these elections will betray the Syrian blood, martyrs and people. Bashar al-Assad does not deserve our precious votes,” Tayib argued.

Nonetheless, the three balloting boxes, which were supposed to be prepared in the main church in central Derik and the center of Ziheriya village and Azaz did not arrive in Derik.

Meanwhile, the city of Amude, west of Qamishli, saw a similar protest by anti-Assad Kurdish political parties and civil activists on Tuesday, where dozens of protesters headed to the city center and raised banners demanding President Bashar al-Assad to step down ad “rather head to the International Criminal Counrt instead of third term of presidency” –in reference to what activists call Assad regime’s crimes against humanity in Syria.

Activist Ibrahim Sa’di, one of the protesters, told ARA News: “This protest is a reaction on distorting our city, Amude, by the regime supporters.”

Talking to ARA News, civil activist Imad Hutta said: “Amude was always against Assad regime, and the presence of brave activists and politicians will help preserving Amude’s revolutionary identity against the tyrants and their supporters. We will never allow this regime to hold elections in our city while other areas in Syria are bleeding.”

Delibrin, one of the protesters in Amude, told ARA News: “We want to tell the public opinion that Amude refuses the election of al-Assad whose hands are stained with the blood of the free Syrian people. These elections are illegitimate as long as killing and destroying are still going on in Syria.”

Similar protests took place in other Kurdish areas in Syria, including Qamishli, Kobane and Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), where dozens of protesters denounce the ongoing presidential elections.

Meanwhile, Kurdish activists organized protests in several European countries, including Switzerland, Austria and Germany, raising banners describing Assad as criminal and calling on Syrians in the diaspora to boycott the elections, considering these elections a an opportunity for President Bashar al-Assad to run the country for a new term and murder more innocents, according to the protesters.

Activist Hassan Mashkini, a leading member in Kurdish Youth Movement, stated to ARA News: “We participated in the Syrian revolution from the very beginning, demanding the fall of the regime, and some of our compatriots such as Jiwanal- Qutna and Abu Jandi were killed for this cause. Hence, we are absolutely boycotting these bloody elections.”


Reporting by: Judi Mohamad and Ferman Husin

Source: ARA News

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