Amude, Syria− The armed forces of the Assayish −security wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD)− stormed on Tuesday the building of “Arta FM” radio in Syria’s northeastern city of Amude, asking the radio staff to leave the workplace after announcing suspension of the radio’s activities and daily broadcasting.
The official page of Arta FM on social networking sites published a statement on Tuesday evening saying that the radio will stop broadcasting its usual daily programs, adding that music will replace all programs in the coming days. “Arta FM’s computers will be inspected by the Assayish forces over the coming few days,” said the statement.
Baz Bekkary, a former presenter in Arta FM, told ARA News that the Assayish’s crackdown on the radio’s building in Amude city is “a clear violation to the freedom of speech” and “an interference in media affairs”.
“The PYD-linked Assayish forces have previously put pressures on Arta FM regarding the programs the radio broadcasts. Thus, such an action was already expected,” said Bekkary.
As for the reason of Tuesday’s incident, Bekkary said that the Assayish may have accused the radio’s administration of corruption, “but there is no clear evidence on that yet”.
“There is no clear reason yet behind Tuesday’s crackdown on the ratio’s building,” he added.
According to activists, the Assayish and its political leadership of the PYD reported that Arta FM radio was providing its frequency to some other radio stations to be broadcasted in Syria’s northeastern areas, saying that some of those stations were linked to Islamist groups −who are in conflict with the PYD’s forces since more than a year.
Supporters of the PYD argued that shutting down Arta FM “was necessary, since the station was operating in favour of other groups than Kurds”.
Arta FM was introduced to its listeners as a local radio station broadcasting from Amude, in Hasaka province northeastern Syria. Its mostly social programs were being broadcasted in Kurdish, Arabic and Syriac. The radio was more focused on social affairs and people’s daily-life interests than politics.
Source: ARA News
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