117 civilians arrested in Afrin, Serekaniye and Tal Abyad in August: Rights group
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish-backed groups in Afrin, Ras al-Ain (Serekaniye) and Tal Abyad arrested at least 117 people, including 9 women and 12 children in August, the human rights organization Hevdesti-Synergy said on Saturday in a new report.
The SNA’s police forces were responsible for more than half of the total toll of the arrests in #Afrin in August 2022. The Civil Police was behind 28 arrests while the Military Police was behind 27 others, while the Turkish Intelligence forces conducted at least six arrests. pic.twitter.com/cYop83gowM— Hevdestî - Synergy - تآزر (@HevdestiSynergy) September 3, 2022
“The biggest toll of the detentions was felt in Afrin, where 107 persons were arrested, including 8 women and 11 children. But 10 persons, among them a woman and a child, were arrested in Ras al-Ayn/Serê Kaniyê and Tall Abyad,” the report said.
The report said only 21 persons out of the total toll of the arrestees were released, among them two women and three children. “The fate of the rest 96 detainees, including 7 women and 9 children remains unknown,” the report added.
The reasons for the arrest varied. While some were accused of dealing with the Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria (AANES) or formerly working in its institutions, others were accused of trying to cross to Turkey illegally.
Others were arrested for ransom money.
At least 12 released persons told Hevdesti-Synergy that they were subjected to torture and ill-treatment during imprisonment in detention centers run by the opposition Syrian National Army-affiliated factions in Afrin, Serekaniye and Tal Abyad.
The report said that the actual number of arrest cases is significantly higher than the figure given in this report.
In a previous report, Hevdesti-Synergy Association documented the arrest of at least 79 persons in the same territories in July 2022. The majority of the arrests took place in Afrin (63 arrests).
Turkish-backed factions have controlled Afrin since March 2018, when the Turkish army launched a cross-border offensive. Turkish-backed factions also controlled border towns Tal Abyad and Serekaniye since a Turkish offensive in October 2019.
A report issued in September 2021 by the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria also stated that the Turkish-supported SNA continues to unlawfully arrest Kurdish citizens.