Afrin Human Rights Organization announced that 674 civilians have been murdered and 7,343 abducted in the northern Syrian city of Afrin since its occupation by the Turkish army and allied mercenaries three years ago.
The Human Rights Organization of Afrin has announced a report on the human rights violations it has recorded in the occupied region during the past three years. According to the report, which was made public in the Serdem Camp in Shehba Canton, 300,000 people were displaced by the occupation, 674 civilians were murdered and 7,343 were kidnapped.
Targeted change of demography and assimilation policy
The names of places and towns are being Turkified in Afrin and the population structure is being changed to suit Turkish interests through displacement and resettlement. The report says; "For example, the Freedom Square in Afrin was renamed as Atatürk Square, Newroz Crossing as Saladin Crossing, and Blacksmith Kawa Crossing as Olive Branch Crossing. The village of Qestel Miqdad was renamed as Selçuk Oba, Kotana as Zafir Oba, Kurzêlê as Cafer Oba. Turkish lessons were made compulsory in schools. There are Turkish flags on school uniforms. Syrian citizens are forced to carry Turkish identity cards."
Massacres of civilians and kidnappings
According to the human rights organization's figures, 7,343 civilians have been abducted. The fate of the majority of them remains unknown, the report says. In the past three years, 674 civilians have been murdered. 82 of these have been tortured to death by occupation forces. 65 women have been killed, and 5 women have taken their own lives. 68 cases of crimes against women were recorded. In attacks by the occupation forces, 696 civilians were injured, including 303 children and 213 women. Due to mine explosions, 2,017 people were injured in Afrin.
According to the report, 314,400 olive trees were cut down by occupation forces and the wood sold. Large agricultural areas were burned. "Historical sites were also attacked. 75 archaeological and historical sites were looted and 15 religious sites damaged by the militias who took away all the historical objects they could find from Afrin and sold them."
Balance sheet for the year 2020
For the year 2020, 58 murders were registered by the occupation forces. Eight of the murdered were women. 987 people were abducted, 92 of them were women. 50 historical sites were damaged in 2020. 72,000 olive trees were cut down under the pretext of road construction. 250 homes were confiscated by the militias and their own families were settled there. In Afrin, 39 explosions occurred, killing or injuring 170 people.
The human rights organization of Afrin appeals to the United Nations, UNICEF and UNESCO to take action and build pressure on the Turkish state. In addition, it called for international organizations to document the rights violations in Afrin and demand accountability.