Alqosh, Iraq (AINA) -- Six Assyrian students were detained by Asayish, the Kurdish intelligence service, on June 30 outside the town of Alqosh in the Nineveh plain. The students were verbally and physically accosted by the armed Kurds. One of the students who tried to call his relatives was beaten on the spot. The students were taken to the Asayish headquarters in Alqosh where they were ordered to sit on their knees for several hours. They received death threats, beatings and torture before being released late in the night without their wallets and cell phones. They were told to come back in the morning to collect their belongings.
No reason was given to the students for their detention. The Assyrian Youth Union of Iraq (Khoyada) has issued a condemnation in Arabic on its website.
Assyrian observers in the Nineveh plain tell AINA they believe the detention of the students is a part of the Kurdish strategy to use the current turmoil in Iraq to occupy the Nineveh plain and instill fear in the population, and also to retaliate against the residents of Alqosh who thwarted the Kurdish attempt to replace an Assyrian council leader in Alqosh, Mr. Faiz Abed Jahwareh, with a Kurd who is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (AINA 2014-06-15).