Kurdish parties and groups send letter for Afrin to UN 

Thirteen Kurdish parties and groups sent letter to UN Guterres and al-Hussein

Thirteen Kurdish parties, associations and cultural and jurist organisations have sent a letter to United Nations’ Secretary General António Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeyd Raad al-Hussein. 

The letter highlights the plight of Afrin which has been occupied by the Turkish government and its mercenary allies.

The letter sent to both UN representatives reads: “With this letter, we want to express our concerns about the Syrian city of Afrin, whose citizens are in their majority Kurds. 

Afrin was occupied as the result of the so called military operation ‘Olive Branch’ carried out by the Turkish State and its mercenaries allies on 20 January 2018.

A human tragedy of great dimension is happening in Afrin city centre and different crimes against crimes against civilians are being committed.

These crimes against the civilians are carried out by the armed groups in Afrin with the help and for order of the Turkish state. Crimes such as slaughtering, theft, harassment, rape, forced displacement of civilians, property plunder and policies to change the demographic composition of the area are being carrying out in Afrin. What is being committed in Afrin amounts to war crime and is in violation of the Geneva convention (1949) as well as the Hague conventions (1899 and 1907).

We can provide hundreds of documents, photographs and images proving these dirty crimes in Afrin.

We want to draw attention to the fact that these crimes in Afrin are planned and organized initiatives and pose a great danger. What is sought here is to destroy, to erase a national identity and community. These crimes are aimed at changing the demographic composition of Afrin while at the same time destroying the culture and very existence of the Kurdish people in the region.

The Turkish State, is pursuing the change in the demographic composition of the region, by forcibly displacing the citizens of Afrin and settle in their homes Arab families coming from different areas of Syria. Thus, the citizens of Afrin won’t be able to return to their homes and land. 
On the other hand, hundreds of civilians have been kidnapped in the city and there is no information about their fate.

Mr. Guterres,
Mr. El Hussein,

The situation in Afrin is very dangerous and if it continues like this soon we will experience great disasters.

We hope that you will fulfill your responsibilities with respect to this war and instability in the region as soon as possible and consider the following requests.

- Call on Turkey, on behalf of the UN and in respect of the international law, to stop the human rights violations in Afrin and to withdraw the armed groups from the city.

- Demand the release of civilians arrested by Turkey.

- Demand that Turkey respect the international laws and law wars when it comes to prisoners.

- Demand that Turkey guarantee the return of civilians to their homes.

- Call in Turkey to stop carrying out policies aimed at changing the demographic composition of the region and demand that the families who have settled in Afrin be returned to the regions where they came from.

- Call on Turkey to allow the press, charity organizations and human rights organisations to enter Afrin.

- The relevant organizations of the UN should begin investigating human rights violations in Afrin and ensure that the responsible are held to account”.

The organisations signing the letter are the following:

1- Syrian Kurdish National Union
2- Democratic Union Party (PYD)
3- Syrian Democratic Future Party
4-Kurdistan Brotherhood Party
5- Syrian Center for Human Rights and Equality
6- Syrian Kurdish Human Rights Committee
7- Kurdish Human Rights Organization (DAD)
8- Germany Branch of the Peoples Under Threat Association
9- Ezidi Organization
10- Law Development Organisation
11- Hêvî Kurdish Culture Association - Belgium
12-Law Research Center - Germany
13- Kurdish Law Council (PMC)