Looting, robbery and torture in Afrin
The Turkish state and their allied gangs continue to abduct and torture civilians and confiscate their belongings in invaded Afrin. War crimes are committed systematically in the region.
The primary victim of the invasion attacks the Turkish state launched on January 20 continue to be the civilians. The Turkish state, along with looters gathered from Al Nusra, FSA and ISIS gangs, is engaged in an ethnic cleansing campaign against the region’s residents. Hundreds of civilians were killed in bombings before the invasion of Afrin, and in the aftermath abductions, executions, torture, looting and robbery run rampant.
People forced to migrate struggle to survive under harsh conditions in Shehba and Sherawa, while property and houses are stolen by the Turkish state from those who remained in Afrin and distributed to gangs.
RISK THAT AWAITS THOSE WHO RETURN: TORTURE AND EXECUTIONS
Some citizens from Afrin have been subjected to attacks when they returned from Shehba and Sherawa to check up on their properties. Most of them were abducted and executed, and others were subjected to violent torture.
Çemê Hemso from the Beradê village had been forced to seek refuge in Shehba with his family due to the Turkish state’s invasion attacks. When he later went to the village along with his wife to check up on their home and lands, he was attacked by the gangs.
Çemê Hemso said the gangs attack each returnee with a different excuse, and that the gangs asked them to provide weapons and tortured them when they couldn’t find what they wanted.
ASKED FOR WEAPONS, BEAT PEOPLE WITH THICK STICKS
Hemso said: “We wanted to go to the village to check up on our home and our fields. When we first went, they said nothing. They didn’t touch us for the first 3 days. After the 3 days, they came to my door and called me. They said we had weapons in the house, and they wanted them. We told them that we are old people and don’t have any weapons. They said, ‘Go get them from Allah’. They said, ‘We don’t care where you get them from, but you will go and get us weapons.’ They started to beat me up. They beat me with thick sticks. My wife took my daughter’s hand and they went off to the mountains. We were afraid they would do something to our daughter. They beat me to a pulp.”
CONFISCATED HOME AND FIELDS
Hemso continued: “After they left, at 02.00 in the morning, me and my wife fled under the rain. We were told they came back the next day, but we were long gone.
My home was completely looted. They didn’t leave anything. I had 150 olive trees in the mountain, those are gone too. They took my home, they took everything.”