Kurd allegedly dies after torture in Afrin
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Two months after his arrest in northwestern Syria’s Afrin, Luqman Yusef Mustafa has allegedly lost his life under torture by Turkish-backed groups, a local human rights organization reports.
According to the Human Rights Organization - Afrin Syria, Mustafa was 35 years old, born in the village of Termisha, in the Sheikh al-Hadid Shiye sub-district, but was a resident of Jindiris.
He allegedly died after being tortured by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in the notorious Ma’aratah prison, located five kilometers west of Afrin city.
Kurdistan 24 was unable to independently verify the allegations.
Yusef was arrested on Sept. 3, alongside money changers, money transfer shop owners, and members of the local Turkish-backed Civil Council of Jindiris set up in 2018 after Turkey and Turkish-backed groups occupied Afrin.
The Human Rights Organization - Afrin Syria said in a statement that the victim’s body was handed over to his family on Nov. 10 for burial in a neighborhood in Jindiris “under tight security supervision by the Turkish intelligence and the military police.”
Both the Human Rights Organization - Afrin Syria and the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the prison administration said the man died of a heart attack. Both organizations claimed the medical report was fabricated.
Meanwhile, the family has accused Turkish-backed factions of “torturing their son to death.”
The Human Rights Organization – Afrin Syria also said that while the money changers and money transfer shop owners were released, the members of the local civil council of Jindiris remain in prison.
Thomas McClure, a Syria-based researcher at the Rojava Information Center, told Kurdistan 24 that “dozens of arrests” in the last two months have targeted Kurdish members of the proxy councils Turkey had set up in Afrin to legitimize its occupation, with nearly 25 local council members detained to date.
“Though individual Kurdish politicians working with the Turkish apparatus in Afrin have on occasion been detained, it is unprecedented to see such a large number of arrests targeting Turkey’s own political proxies in Afrin,” McClure stated.
“These arrests are likely motivated by Turkey’s attempts to wreck ongoing dialogue between the Kurdish-led autonomous regions and ENKS [Kurdish National Council], which has a minority base of support in North and East Syria,” he added. “They also serve to further reconfigure the ethnic make-up and political infrastructure of Afrin in Turkey’s favor.”
“The torture and murder of Mr. Mustafa illustrate once again that Turkey stands in the way of any tentative steps toward peace and a new political settlement in Syria.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany