Evin Cuma: Turkey should be tried for crimes against children
Evin Cuma, a member of the Cizire Human Rights Association, condemned Turkish state's targeting of children in North and East Syria and demanded that Turkey be prosecuted for its crimes against children.
The invading Turkish state continues its attacks on North and East Syria and targets children alongside civilians. Numerous children were martyred, hundreds of them were injured and many others lost parts of their bodies as a result of these attacks.
A few days ago, Turkish drones bombed a vehicle in the Sinaa neighbourhood in the city of Qamishlo. Children named Ehmed Ali Hisen and Aheng Ekrem Hisen were martyred, while Mihemed Salih (12), Miran Selah (10), Aylan Selah (5) and Bilind Mihemed Şemsedin (16) were injured.
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND VIOLATION OF CHILDREN'S RIGHTS
Evin Cuma, a member of the Cizire Region Human Rights Association, spoke to ANHA about the violations of children’s rights.
Cuma said that the invading Turkish state violated human rights in North and East Syria, specifically in occupied regions such as Afrin, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî, and brutal crimes against children were committed.
“Violence against children is a violation of international children's rights which protect children during war times,” she said.
The 1924 Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the articles 23 and 24 of the United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of the Child announced on November 20, 1954, show that the protection of children is given special importance.
Cuma remarked that the invading Turkish state and criminal opposition groups violated the ceasefire agreements and did harm to civilians, especially children. “We saw a similar violation in Kobanê a while ago. Many children were injured and one of them lost his leg. There were also similar attacks on the villages of Zirgan and Til Temir.”
'CHILDREN ARE TARGETED DIRECTLY'
Cuma pointed to the Turkish drone attack on the Sina neighborhood of Qamishlo which resulted in the martyrdom of 3 people, including 2 children (Ehmed Ali Hisên and Aheng Ekrem Hisên). “Children are targeted directly in North and East Syria. We saw that two children were martyred as a result of an attack in the Sina neighborhood two days ago,” she said.
13 children were injured and 2 others were martyred as a result of the Turkish occupation and the attacks of its mercenaries in the months of June, July and August.
'INVASION AND TARGETING OF CIVILIANS IS A WAR CRIME'
Cuma urged international organizations and guarantor states in the region to close the airspace of North and East Syria to Turkish aircraft. “The Turkish state threatens the lives of civilians, targets military, administrative and health centres without discrimination.”
Cuma called for an end to the Turkish occupation in North and East Syria, saying, “People who were displaced by the invasion attacks are suffering. On July 7, a fire broke out in a tent in the Washokani Refugee Camp where Syrian refugees stay. Two children from a family lost their lives. These refugees are in a very difficult situation because of the occupation of their lands.”
Cuma emphasized that targeting civilians is a war crime and the aim is to change the demographic structure of the region.
Following the Turkish occupation, numerous families were forced to leave their regions and settle in refugee camps. According to the latest data from the Cizire Region Human Rights Association, there are 26,266 children in the Washokani, Newroz, Serêkaniyê and Erişê camps.
'INTERNATIONAL COURTS SHOULD PROSECUTE TURKEY'
Cuma remarked that the Cizire Region Human Rights Association submitted reports to international legal organizations, including the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria that documents violations against civilians and took part in a special committee to document violations against children. The Cizire Region Human Rights Association also prepared annual reports on violations against children in North and East Syria and submitted them to the relevant parties. The Association filed individual cases before international courts concerning violations against children.
Cuma called for the invading Turkish state to be held accountable, adding that pressure should be put on the international community to stop the permanent attacks on the region.