Human rights report finds the YPG forcibly conscripting teachers

The education of nearly half a million students in the Raqqa, Hasakah, and Deir Az Zor governorates are affected by the forced conscription of local teachers to the SDF’s ranks.

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A report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) says that a campaign continuing to forcibly conscript people into the ranks of the People’s Protection Units-led (YPG) Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) resulted in the detainment and forced recruitment of 61 teachers in northeastern Syria and led to the arbitrary dismissal of 550 from their jobs, since the start of 2021. According to the report, this has affected the education of nearly half a million students in the northern governorates under the control of Rojava, more specifically the governorates of Hasakah, Deir Az Zor, and Raqqa.

The SNHR documented 34 teachers who were allegedly arrested in order to forcibly conscript them into the YPG-led SDF since the beginning of January. Later, 27 other educators were arrested on charges of teaching the Syrian government’s curriculum in the respective governorates controlled by Rojava. The report also indicated the dismissal of 550 teachers from their jobs after they rejected being forced to conscript. The SDF is continuously used as an umbrella term within the report of the SNHR, indicating the fact that it is the YPG that is responsible for the arrests and dismissals.

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