International Forum on Afrin: final statement

The last session agreed that “all military initiatives and actions to be launched for the liberation of Afrin are legitimate.”

The International Forum on Demographic Change and Ethnic Cleansing in Afrin ended after three days of meetings and sessions.

The last session of the Forum was closed to the press.

Representatives of all organisations, parties and groups attended the final session and drew up a final document and a call to take measures against the ethnic genocide and the attempts to change the demographic structure of the region currently implemented.

The last session also agreed that “all military initiatives and actions to be launched for the liberation of Afrin are legitimate.”

Professor of Modern History and Middle East, Iran, Turkey expert, Fereh Sabır read the final declaration.

“Following the occupation of Afrin carried out by the Turkish state and its mercenary allies, the Rojava Center for Strategic Studies (supported by many organisations) began to list and detail the names of civilians martyred and wounded in the city as well as the human rights violations in the city.

The report detailed attacks on health center and staff, schools, bakeries, drinking water lines, historical places, as well as attacks on different aid convoys from northern Syrian areas”.

The occupying Turkish state and its mercenary allies, continued the final document, “finally invaded Afrin, thus entering the Syrian territory aiming at including this part to Turkish territory. The occupying force and its mercenary allies carried on attacks on the citizens of Afrin and pursued policies such as forcing people to flee, kidnapping, massacre, plunder and assimilation.

The names of villages, towns and other centers were replaced by Turkish translations, while in the schools Turkish education materials were made compulsory.

The occupiers also destroyed the historical sites of the region, a reflection of the region's civilization. In other words, the demographic structure of Afrin was being changed with these set of policies pursued by the Turkish state”.

As the Rojava Center for Strategic Studies, the statement continued: “we felt the need to organize this International Forum because of the ongoing ethnic genocide and the policy of changing the demographic structure in Afrin, and also because of the silence of the international community against these policies.

This Forum aimed at reporting human rights violations carried out by the occupying Turkish state and its mercenary allies in the city. We also wanted to present these reports to the international community.”

The Forum - said the statement - “has seen the participation of more than 150 academics, politicians and lawyers from the international community who were in Amude or connected via teleconference from different parts of the world.

The Forum addressed the political, cultural, economic, social and historical paths of the emancipation of Afrin and the methods to detain the demographic structure.

Following the evaluations and discussion, the Forum had decided to make the following joint recommendations:

* Organisation of forums and congresses in important international and regional centers until the occupiers are expelled from Afrin

* Establishment of a committee with the participation of representatives from different identities and beliefs in order to follow up the decisions taken in the Forum

* Opening of a documentation center on the invasion of Afrin by the Turkish state

* Development of diplomatic work for Afrin

* Establishment of an official committee to communicate the rights violations in the region to international law organizations and courts

* Establishment of a press body to disclose the rights violations of the Turkish state

* Supporting all actions and activities to ensure the return of the people of Afrin to their homes. In addition, securing the return of plundered property and properties within the framework of legitimate road and international laws

* Calling on friends of the peoples of Syria and the Kurds to organise actions and events supporting the liberation of Afrin

* Call for the closure of the Syrian airspace in order to prevent another Afrin

* Listing the names of Turkish military commanders and mercenaries in Afrin to forward them to international courts

* Calling on the international human rights organizations to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to civilians who were forced to flee from Afrin and are now in Shehba.