On 6 October, People’s Protection Units (YPG) official YouTube account has been closed for some video contents that allegedly violate the Community Guidelines of YouTube.
The YPG has been avoiding any substance that violates YouTube Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, which it has been warned about before. The videos that are pointed by YouTube to be behind the reason of termination of the account are the ones published during Kobane resistance against the so called Islamic State (ISIS) siege in autumn 2014. The videos were published in order to share the reality of the battle and resistance of the YPG against ISIS terrorism with the rest of the world. Aggravated circumstances of that time and the reality of the fight were pictured in those videos.
The videos that have been published recently serve the purpose of sharing with the public the reality of the ongoing battles against ISIS terrorism in Raqqa and Deir Ez-Zor fronts. We have been carefully keeping away from publishing videos that both contains graphic content and could mean violation of YouTube’s Community Guidelines. The videos uncover the situation of hundreds of thousands of civilians saved from ISIS within the battle and shares videos of reconstruction works of destroyed areas by the fights, and that makes our broadcasting policy, on which we also base our YouTube account on.
It is clear that the decision only serves to the efforts making the YPG-led struggle against ISIS in the name of humanity invisible, and leaves it under the mercy of biased mainstream media. The closure of the channel also has nothing to do with legal and moral reasons and obviously based on political reasons. YPG press works, which follows a refined sense of publication for free speech along with the free and democratic Syria slogan for years, are often targeted and hindered by this manner to stop spreading facts about the efforts and sacrifices it makes for people and humanity.
We find no difference between this decision made by YouTube and fascist Turkey and Iran administrations’ approaches in defying free speech. The ban means a death blow by YouTube to the right of free speech and expression against a group that fights for humanity. The ban is the effort to silence the YPG, that is devoted to the protecting of all humanity, by fighting for them in battlefields, while ISIS-made publications run all around social media with little to no censorship. The YPG will find its way to use its right of free speech and expression to publish its works freely and show the world the revolutionary fight agaisnt terrorism and oppression.
YPG Press Center | October 8, 2017