Syria/Afrin: 155 Syrian Organizations Condemn the Killing of Kurdish Civilians on the Eve of Celebrating Newroz

On the eve of Newroz, corresponding to March 20, 2023, some fighters of Jaysh al-Sharqiya Faction/The Construction and Liberation Movement, affiliated with the Turkish-backed opposition Syrian National Army (SNA), killed four unarmed Kurdish civilians in Jindires city in Afrin countryside, northwestern Syria, on the backdrop of celebrating Newroz Day and lighting its bonfire; one of the most essential rituals adopted by the Kurds annually, with the participation of other peoples in Syria and throughout the region.

The signatories of this statement stand in solidarity with families of this attack’s victims, wishing the injured a speedy recovery for the wounded, and affirm that they stand alongside all the victims and survivors across Syria. The signatories also call on all the inhabitants in Afrin, both natives and the displaced, to synergize to counter human rights violations committed by SNA armed groups and urge them to reject attempts to create a rift between local communities in Syria.

It is not the first time Afrin-occupied by Turkey and its proxies SNA factions since March 2018- has witnessed crimes and human rights violations. Several independent local and international organizations and UN commissions have documented repeated and systematic patterns of human rights violations, such as murder, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, ill-treatment, torture, looting, and property seizure, in addition to forcing the Kurd inhabitants to leave their houses, obstructing the return of the native people and practices of Turkification and demographic changes.

It is worth mentioning that this crime took place at a time when Jindires city, among other areas, has yet to recover from the impact of the destroying earthquake in February 2023, which claimed the lives of hundreds of residents. Around 1,100 people died in Jindires alone due to the earthquake. Thousands of buildings were damaged, leaving at least two thousand families homeless, while several armed groups were politicizing, diverting assistance, and denying access to populations in need.

Following the crime of murder, massive public demonstrations took place in Jindires and other areas in Afrin. Protestors denounced the de-facto authorities and demanded the ousting of the SNA’s factions from the region and providing international protection for the civilians to put an end to the violations committed by those factions. The signatory organizations declare complete support for these demands and call on:

The United Nations:
To take all necessary measures to protect the civilians in Afrin and across Syria, as well as pressure Turkey as an occupying power to assume its legal responsibilities in ensuring public order and safety and maintaining law and order;
To pressure the Turkish government to stop the demographic changes in Afrin, Ras al-Ayn/Serê Kaniyê, and other regions, commit to the provisions of the 1907 Hague Agreement and hand over the administration of those areas to their Syrian indigenous people;
To take adequate measures to stop the expansion of the terrorist-designated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)/formerly al-Nusra Front in Afrin and other northern Syria regions. The terrorist-designated organization took this crime as a pretext to advance in Jindires and its countryside and take control of the SNA’s headquarters in Jinderis.
The United States government and the European Union:
to operationalize the sanctions against entities and commanders of the armed Syrian factions involved in committing human rights violations and extend the sanctions to include the rest groups and individuals responsible for the violations in northern Syria, including Turkish officials who effectively run those areas.

To War Crimes Units in the countries, their enactments allow trials under the principle of universal jurisdiction, the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), and the competent international organizations:
Intensify their work on documenting all violations by all parties, particularly those in Afrin and throughout northern Syria targeting specific racist, religious, or ethnic groups.

The International Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic:
To release a briefing on the human rights situation in northern Syria, particularly in the areas under the effective control of Turkey, including Afrin, Ras al-Ayn/Serê Kaniyê, Tall Abyad, A’zaz, and al-Bab.

In addition, the organizations signing this statement call on the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), as well as all political bodies under its umbrella, to assume their legal, political, and moral responsibilities toward all the crimes committed in Afrin and call them to intervene to halt the violations of its armed groups and support the demands of the local population.

Organizations and Associations Signing the Statement:

Act for Afrin
Adel Center for Human Rights
Afrin Media Center
Afrinpost Network
AINSHAMS Organization
Al Amal for Coexitennce Organization
Al RIYF Association
ALAHD Organization
aldiyar Association
Alghaithdev Organization
Al-Hasakah Organization for Relief and Deve
Al-Khaboor Association
Amal Afrin Association
Analysis and Strategic Study Organization
Anwar al-Ghad
Arak East Organization
Aras charity
Areej Organisation
Awda for Development
Azdeihar Organization
Better Life Organization
Better Tomorrow Organization
Bridges of Love
Bridges of peace for development
Bukra Ahla Association for Relief and Development
Caesar Families Association
Center for Research and Protection Women’s right in Syria
Community Solidarity Organaization
Country Raqqa Organization
DAN for Relief and Development
Dari Organization
Deirna for Development
Demokratik women network
Dijla Organization for Development and Environment
Droep Foundation
Ebdaa Organization for Development
Edraak Organization for Development and Peace
Ella Organization For Development and Peacebuilding
Engineering for Services and development
Enma al Jazera Organization
Enmaa Organization
Ensaf for Development
Euphrates NGO
Ezdina Organization
Families For Freedom
Fariq Snnae al-Mustaqbal
For Them Organisation
Forerunner 4 Development & Empowerment & Education
Friends Charity Association
General Union of Kurdish Writers and Journalists in Syria
Green Women’s Association
GWN Organization
Hajin Technicians Organization
Haneen Alfurat
Hdf Humanitarian
Hevy for Relief and Development
Hope Makers Organization
House of Citizenship Organization
Human Hope Team
Human Rights Committee in Syria – MAF
Human Rights Organization in Jazeerra
Human Rights Organization in Syria – Maf
Human rights organizations Afrin- syria
Humanitarian and Development Cooperation
Inmaa al-Furat FDO
Inshaa Masar Organization
Intensive Care Association
International Organization for Development and Human Rights
Iwaa Organization
Jasmine Association
Jinar for Aid and Development
Jiyan Charity Association
Jsor al-amal
Khutwa Association
Kurdischer Rat in Deutschland e.V
Kurdish Committee for Human Rights (RASSED)
Kurdish Cultural Association in Geneva
Kurdish Feminist Voices
Kurdish National Congress of North America
Kurdish Organization for Human Rights in Syria (DAD)
Kurdish Swiss Alliance
Laila Initiative
Lamsatalkhierfor Relif and Development
Lelun Association for Victims
Les Kurdes Rojava en France
Lights for Development and Construction
Maakom for Devolepment and Peace
Mahabad Organisation for Human Rights MOHR
Manara Organization
Mary Association for Culture, Arts and Environment
Nawras Organization for development
NES Mine Action center
Nujin Society for Community
Oxygen Shabab
Peace she Leaders Network
Peace Sounds
PÊL- Civil Waves
Platform of Wheat and Olive
Platform Syrische Koerden in Nederland
Qadar Organization
Raja Organization
Ras Al-Ain Platform
Rewangeh Organization
RFD Organization
Rights Defense Initiative
Roj Kar for Relief and Development
Roj Mine Control Organization
Rojava Organization for Relief and Development
Sahem Organization for Cooperation and Development
SALAM Organization
Sawaeed Organization for Development
Sêl Organization for Development
Shar for development
Shawshaka Association for Women
Silav Organization for Civil Activities
SMART Center
SOZ Association
Sphere for Studies and Development
Swaedna Organization for Relief and Development
Synergy Association for Victims
Syria Center for Development
Syria Justice and Accountability Center
Syrian Cancer Society
Syrian Center For Media and Freedom of Expression
Syrian Kurdish Civil Forces Gathering
Syrians for Truth and Justice
Tara organization
TASTAKEL Women Organization
Tel Abyad forum for civil society
The civil Cooperation Team Organization
The Kurdish Center for Studies
Together for Algarnya organization
Together for Deir Ezzor
Train of Hope Dortmund e. V.
We Want our Detainees and Kidnapped Campaign
Weqaya Association
Wessal Development Organization
Yasna organization for Zoroastrian religion and philosophy
Youth for Change
Zakon Organization
Zameen Organization
Zirak For Development
Zurna Development Organization