An image shows a side of the demonstration on July 12, 2018, by several of the teaching staff at Allawi Salih Institute located in al-Shadadi town south of al-Hasakah. Photo credit: Activists from al-Shadadi town.
Pro-Autonomous Administration Asayesh Forces Arrest 7 Teaching Staff in al-Shadadi
Arrests on the Backdrop of a Demonstration by Several Teachers on July 12, 2018 in Protest of Assaulting and Arresting a Female Teacher from the Town
Introduction On July 12, 2018, the security apparatus affiliated with the Autonomous Administration presented in the Asayesh Forces arrested 7 teachers and administrators working in a teaching institute located in al-Shadadi town. According to several testimonies and statements obtained by STJ, the arrests were on the backdrop of a demonstration by several teachers and administrators working in Allawi Salih Institute in protest of arresting a female teacher from the institute by the Asayesh Force on July 10, 2018.
The incident caused strain in al-Shadadi, as the seven detainees were sent to the Asayesh Public Center in the town then to Qamishli, STJ's field researcher said. They are still under arrest until the time of writing this report on August 3, 2018, headed.
Previously, the Asayesh Forces had detained 12 teachers in Tell Brak northeast al-Hasakah on April 5, 2018, on the backdrop of participating in a demonstration in protest against the decisions proclaimed by the Education Authority of the Autonomous Administration. STJ had prepared a report of the incident.
June 2018 also witnessed arrests against Kurds politicians and opponents by the Asayesh Forces. STJ prepared a report on the incident as well.
First: Where is al-Shadadi Town?
Al-Shadadi town lies 66 km south of al-Hasakah city. It is of a great importance since it contains the biggest and most significant oil field which is Jabisah. The Islamic State, also known ISIS controlled al-Shadadi town at the beginning of March 2014, but the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) succeeded in pulling it out of its grip in mid-February 2016. Since then, the Autonomous Administration has operated its educational and civic institutions inside the town.
A satellite image showing the location of al-Shadadi town.
Second: details of the incident
July 10, 2018, a member of the administrator staff of the Education Authority of the Autonomous Administration went to “Allawi Salih”, a teacher preparation institute in al-Shadadi, to check it. During the visit, the supervisor member of the education process in Jazira Canton checked the institute, and while talking about public issues with a female teacher from the institution, she ordered her, the female teacher, to get out of the school and dismissed her from the teaching career, but the teacher said "the school is ours, and it is better we teach our children", according to an eyewitness.
Mohammed Hamid, an alias of an eyewitness who owns a shop next to Allawi Salih Institute, said to STJ that he saw the Women Asayesh pulling the woman from the institute in an indecent way while the teacher was crying. After that they took her to the Asayesh Public Center accompanied by the supervisor member.
A teacher from Allawi Salih Institute said to STJ regarding the course of events,
"Silence and tension prevailed on the institute for a whole day, we told the head teacher of the institute to act quickly towards the incident of assaulting the teacher and arresting her because it was the fault of the supervisor member from the Education Authority and not the fault of the teacher, and that the supervisor member assaulted our beliefs. Actually, the head teacher went to the Council in al-Shadadi, which in turn sent a massage to the Asayesh Public Center. But the Asayesh Public Center replied that this matter is specifically concerned with the public leadership of the Asayesh Forces in Qamishli city and it will decide in the days coming. After that the Council of al-Shadadi posted a statement on the incident on its official Facebook page, and the statement remained a whole day posted. On July 12, 2018, the Asayesh Forces stormed the house of the person in charge of the media in the Council and compelled him to delete the statement, and beat him and said bad words to him."
Following several attempts to contact the person in charge of the media in the Council, he rejected to testify to STJ, claiming it to be a very sensitive situation.
Sameer. A., a teacher, said the administrator staff and the teachers at Allawi Salih Institute decided to go out on a demonstration in protest of arresting the teacher. At 12:p.m. on July, 12, 2018, the demonstration went out demanding respect to people's rights and religion and sectarian beliefs, and not to drag behind political whims specialized to one party. The demonstration lasted for a quarter of an hour, then headed to the Asayesh Public Center in al-Shadadi, but the Asayesh encircled the demonstration from its foreground and shot in the air to disperse the demonstration, so many of them fled away.
Third: Breaking Into Houses and Arrests on the Backdrop of Demonstration
On July 12, 2018, the Asayesh Forces affiliated with the Autonomous Administration stormed the houses of seven of the teaching staff who work at Allawi Salih Institute and sent them to the Public Relation Center of the Asayesh Forces located in al-Shadadi. The next morning, relatives of the arrested persons went there to enquire about them but the Asayesh Forces made an excuse that the demonstration was not licensed and added that the they will consider in the status of the arrested and release them as soon as investigation ended, according to testimony of many families of the arrested to STJ.
Abu Abdullah, father of one of the arrested told STJ:
"at 8:30 p.m. on July 12, 2018, someone knocked the door strongly and when I opened the door, two elements of the Asayesh Forces entered the house without permission and asked about my son; when I asked why, they repeated their question loudly and threatened to search all the rooms. When my son got out, they immediately arrested him and placed him inside the security car and told me to review the Asayesh Public Center the following day in order to learn about the reason"
Abu Abdullah added he went to the Asayesh Public Center located in al-Shadadi on July 13, 2018, to ask about his son, where he was told that the reason of the arrest is his son's participation in a non-licensed demonstration. They told him that his son was one of the supervisors of the demonstration according to the reports submitted to them. They added they would investigate with him and after that they would consider his situation and decide the case along with his friends. Moreover, they said he have to wait at least a week in order investigation ended. Abu Abdullah went back home, and added, commenting:
"it has been 15 days since the arrest of my son and I know nothing about him. I went to the Council at al-Shadadi but they said they got nothing to do and that my son would be released as soon as investigation ended and according to the charges against him."
In another testimony to STJ by one of the members of the Council of al-Shadadi, he said that many families of the detainees visited them to broker to release their sons, therefore, members of the Council headed to the Asayesh Public Center in al-Shadadi, and he said:
"the Asayesh Center told us we should not interfere in this case and that this issue is related to the nationalist security of the Jazira canton. They said the arrested would be released as soon as investigation ended if no charges proved against them. In turn, we explained to the families that we got nothing to do."
 STJ's field researcher said the Asayesh Forces are still detaining the teacher whom her arrest was the reason for the demonstration and consequently arresting 7 of the teaching staff.