State of the Occupation Q2 2021: Rights Violations Continued During the Spring in Turkish-Occupied NES

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Download the full report here.

RIC’s quarterly report on the state of the Turkish occupation in Northern Syria tracks human rights violations and crimes committed by Turkey and Turkish-backed SNA groups in the occupied regions of Afrin and the ‘M4 Strip’ – the border region between the occupied cities of Sere Kaniye and Tel Abyad. 

During the second quarter of 2021 (April-June), RIC found among other things:

  • 150 arrests across the three months, almost all Kurds arrested under accusations of ‘working with the AANES’
  • In 38 of these 150 arrests, RIC was able to confirm torture. At least six detainees were tortured so severely that they died while in detention. 
  • 14 gender-based violence events (the report also includes an eye witness testimony of the repeated rape of a sixteen-year-old girl in front of other male detainees from a previous period)
  • Sped-up construction of new settlements in the occupied region, some of which were built to house Palestinians living in Syria
  • The theft and destruction of at least 16,785 privately-owned fruit bearing trees in Afrin during the May harvest, including the intentional arson of 7 km of coniferous forest in order to sell the resulting charcoal 
  • Increasingly harsh application of Islamic law, including punishment for breaking the Ramadan fast in public, and the arrest of a 14-year-old girl for not wearing a veil 

The report includes sections on unlawful arrests, settlements, expropriation, infighting, bombings and shelling and more. Testimonies at the end of the report provide further insight into specific violations.

Journalists and researchers may contact RIC to gain access to the full database, additional interviews with survivors, as well as our interactive map showing faction ownership and geolocated bases within occupied territory. These maps formed the basis for those featured in our report, which were designed by @LCarabinier.

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  1. […] and Iraq violate international law and human rights. Turkey is committing massive crimes against humanity. Recently, Turkey was described by the EU Commission as an “occupying power” in northern Syria […]

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