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  • 118 Syrian Organizations Call on the International Community to Assume Responsibility towards Afrin and all of Syria

118 Syrian Organizations Call on the International Community to Assume Responsibility towards Afrin and all of Syria
عفرين - ليفانت نيوز

The undersigned organizations demand; an immediate end to massive human rights violations in Afrin and all of Syria, fair accountability for perpetrators, safe and dignified return of original residents, and demographic change cessation

Five years have passed since Turkish military forces and a coalition of Türkiye-backed Syrian armed groups took over the entire district of Afrin in northern Syria. Living under occupation, locals of Afrin have been subjected to countless violations on a daily basis. The ongoing violations and the inflicted constant fear forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee their homes without any hope of imminent return.

The Afrin offensive was simultaneous with another by the Syrian government forces and their Russian allies against Eastern Ghouta. Regime troops and allies recaptured Ghouta from rebels, after a blistering assault, which killed hundreds and ended in a Russia and Türkiye-brokered surrender deal. The deal transferred tens of thousands of opposition fighters and original residents out of the area and resettled them in parts of Syria’s north, including Afrin.

Independent international organizations and United Nations committees documented violations of various kinds in Afrin, including killing in unlawful attacks, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, ill-treatment, torture, looting, and confiscation of property. Furthermore, hindering the return of displaced original residents, especially the Kurds, as well as acts of Turkification and demographic change have been monitored.

Lack of accountability for these grave human rights violations, in addition to the persistence of impunity make the Turkish-occupied territories completely unsafe, and do not comply with the criteria of voluntary return set by the United Nations. All this while almost 70% of Afrin’s original residents are still forcibly displaced since 2018.

In its latest report, issued on 7 March 2023, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic confirmed the continuation of arbitrary arrests and detentions by the Syrian National Army (SNA) in Afrin. The Commission confirmed that witnesses interviewed for the purpose of the report revealed cases of beating, torture, and ill-treatment in places of detention and during interrogations, with the presence of Turkish officials. In addition, the Commission’s report cited cases of civilian property seizure with reports from interviewees of being prevented from regaining access to their properties and threatened if they tried to claim them back. Furthermore, the Commission said that it continued documenting cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence, perpetrated by SNA members, including of children.

As an occupying power, Türkiye has not assumed its responsibilities in areas under its influence in northern Syria, including Afrin. No real action has been taken by the Turkish authorities to ensure the protection of civilians; Türkiye rather gave its SNA proxies a free hand to commit human rights violations against the original residents of those areas. Even the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces failed to stop the human rights violations of the SNA, which supposedly operates under it. Therefore, the undersigned organizations urge the UN Security Council to take the necessary measures; to provide appropriate conditions for the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of the residents of Afrin and all Syrians, to redress victims, and to punish perpetrators.

The signatory organizations make the recommendations below:

The United Nations

To cease attempts of ignoring and circumventing the situation in Afrin and other Syrian parts occupied by Türkiye, and compel the latter to assume its responsibilities as an occupying power under international law.

The Turkish Government

To stop politicizing the situation of northern Syria’s population and turning a blind eye to the human rights abuses that they have been subjected to. This is with the aim to evade recognizing the Turkish presence in Syria as an occupation; which has been already proven by international committees and human rights organizations citing Türkiye’s effective and direct control over northern Syrian territories.

To take all measures – within its authority – necessary to ensure public safety and order and provide special protection for women and children in the areas under its control and stop the gross violations of human rights that its forces and allied militias continue to commit against civilians.

The Human Rights Council/The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic: To provide a comprehensive and accurate briefing on the intertwined web of roles and interests of all foreign/external powers intervening in the Syrian conflict, and its reflection on the state of compliance with the International humanitarian law (IHL) international human rights law (IHRL).

Organizations and Associations Signing the Statement:

Act for Afrin

Adil Center for Human Righits

Afrin Platform

Afrinpost Network

AIN SHAMS Organization

ALAHD Organization

Allied for Peace

Al-Raja Organization for Relief and Development

Al-Zajel Organization

Amal Al-Furat organization

Amal For Development

Analysis and Strategic Study Organization ASO

Anwar Al-Ghad Organization

Aras Charity Association

Areej Organisation

Ashti Center for Peacebuilding

Assyrian Society for Helping and Development

AYADI Moubsra Organization

Azdehar Organization

Balsam Organization For Development

Better Life Organization

Better Tomorrow Organization

Center Defanse

Clemency Organization

Community Solidarity Organaization

DAN for Relief and Development

dari Center

Dawlaty

Dijla Organization for Development and Environment

Dya Al Aml Association

Ebdaa Organization for Development

Edraak Organization for Development and Peace

Enlil Center

Enma aljazera Organization

Environment and Water Association (EWAS)

Espoir Afrin

Eternity

Euphrates NGO

Ezdina Organization

Fariq Snnae al Mustaqbal

FDO Organization

For Feminist

For Them Organisation

Friends Charity Association

Green Women's Association

Happy land

Hdf Humanitarian

Hevy for Relief and Development

Hope Makers

House of Citizenship Organisation

Human Hope Team

Human Rights organizations Afrin - Syria

Human Rigts Organizatin In Jazeera

Humanitarian and Development Cooperation

Iwaa organizations

Jian Charity Association

Kesksyi Organization

Khutwa Association

Kurdische Gemeinschaft Herne ASO

Kurdish Committee for Human Rights (RASSED)

Kurdish Cultural Association of Geneva

Kurdish Feminist Voices

Kurdish Organization for Human Rights in Syria (DAD)

Laila Initiative

Lelun Association for Victims

Lights for Development and Construction

Manara Organization

Mary Association for Culture, Arts and Environment

Max Vison

Nama Organization

Nasmet Amal

Nujin Society for Community

Okkaz

Oxygen Shabab

PEACE SHE LEADERS NET WORK

Peace tent

PÊL- CIVIL WAVES

Purity Organization

Qadar Organization

QRD Organization

Qudwa Organization for Building and Development

Ras Al Ain/Serê Kaniyê Platform

Reng fore development

Rescue and Relief taem

RFD Organization

Rights Defense Initiative

RojHilat for Relief and Development

Rose for Support and Empowerment

SALAM. ORG

Sara Organization To Combat Violence Against Women

Sawaed Development Organization

Scsd

Shar for development

Share for Community Development

Shawshka Women's Association

Shilan Association for Relief and Development

Silav Organization for Civil Activities

Society for Threatened Peoples GfbV/STP

Stability Support Centre

Synergy Association for Victims

Syriac Cross Organization for Relief and Development

Syrian Cancer Society

Syrian Kurdish Journalists Network

Syrians for Truth and Justice

Taa marbouta

Tara Organization

Tel Abyad Forum for Civil Society

The Leading Woman

The Levant News

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression

Weqaya Association

Wheat Olive Platfrom

Women for Peace

Women of Hope

Youth For Change

Youth Optimistic

Zakon Organization

Zameen for Development and Peacebuilding