The people of Al-Jazeera region continue their sit-in in front of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Qamishlo, on the twelfth consecutive day in protest against the attacks of the Turkish occupation on northern and eastern Syria.
The Community Protection Forces, in coordination with Kongra Star, had set up a sit-in tent, under the slogan “Where is your justice and conscience” on August 12 and will continue until August 31.
Today, Tuesday, the unions of the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM), members of the Kurdish Red Crescent and the Human Rights Organization in the Jazira region flocked to the sit-in tent, where pictures of the children who were martyred and injured in the Turkish occupation state’s drone attacks on the camp. The area, and placards reading, “These children who had a wide imagination, were killed by the occupation and cut their bodies, no to the Turkish occupation, no to killing children.”
Prior to the start of the sit-in activities, a statement was made by the Lawyers Union and the Human Rights Organization in North and East Syria, which I read in the administrative Arabic language of the Human Rights Organization in the Jazira region, Avin Juma’a, and in the Kurdish language by a member of the Lawyers Union in Qamishlo Roja Khalaf.
The participants carried placards reading, “Down with the fascist Erdogan,” “Long live the resistance of the peoples,” “We demand no-fly zone on our regions,” and “No to the war against childhood, no to the Turkish occupation.”
At the beginning, he stated: “Northern and eastern Syria has recently witnessed an escalation in attacks by the Turkish state, after the Turkish president threatened to invade the region and occupy more Syrian lands. Dozens of civilian victims, including women and children, were victims of these attacks.”
He said: “The preservation of international peace and security and the right of peoples to self-determination came as the most important objectives of the United Nations in its Charter dated 1945, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 stipulated in its preamble (when neglect and contempt for human rights have led to barbaric acts). It harmed the human conscience, and the goal of what the common people aspired to was the emergence of a world in which the individual enjoys freedom of speech and belief and is free from fear and want.
Article 3 of this Declaration stipulates that (everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person), and in 1949, the four Geneva Conventions were signed, especially the fourth treaty, which emphasized the need to protect civilian persons in time of war, whether it had been obscured. Recognition of the state of war or not by any of the warring parties as agreed, and the countries of the world signed many international instruments, including the 1993 agreements prohibiting the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and their destruction.
In 1998, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was signed, which defined the crimes (genocide – crimes against humanity – war crimes – the crime of aggression) and clarified their elements and systems for the prosecution of the perpetrators of those crimes, especially the personalities who issue orders to carry out these crimes.
He added: “Yes, despite what is stipulated in international legal instruments in terms of promoting human rights and the need for states and governments to commit to protecting those rights, and criminalizing them for various forms of violations against those rights, whether the rights of individuals or the rights of peoples and safety, the crimes and atrocities did not stop for a moment against the peoples of the area before and after the date of those instruments and their entry into force.
The statement added: “The ruling regime in the Turkish state has committed the crime of aggression against Syria, and genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed. The crimes of the Turkish states did not stop at the limit of occupying the land, killing and forcibly displacing people, and carrying out demographic change in the region. Rather, it went beyond it to attacking nature and the historical legacy of the areas occupied by the Turkish army, and he did not hesitate to use internationally prohibited chemical weapons.”
The outcome of Turkish attacks since the beginning of this year
The statement also talked about the Turkish army’s daily targeting of “safe civilians, their homes and civilian facilities in northern and eastern Syria with mortar shells, artillery shells, rocket-propelled grenades and through drones, knowing that our areas include many camps for displaced people from other areas, which threatens the humanitarian situation of the residents of those camps.”
Revealing the number of civilian casualties who lost their lives since the beginning of this year 2022 as a result of the Turkish attacks on the region, “122 people lost their lives, while the number of wounded reached 173 people, and in Afrin alone, the number of civilians who lost their lives reached 24 people, and the number of kidnappings reached 380 cases.
With regard to what the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries are committing against nature in the area, the statement clarified: “As for olive trees, the number of cases of cutting, uprooting and burning of more than 400 trees, and 8 settlements were built in them,” noting that the Turkish state is committing its crimes in front of in full view of the world that has taken silence about what is going on.
Criticizing the international community’s approach to the humanitarian file in Syria, the statement said: “What increases the pain is Turkey’s sponsorship of terrorism in the past and now it is an open matter and the whole world knows it, and no international legal position has been taken towards this country and its ruling regime,” noting, “Erdogan.” In his capacity as the President of the Turkish Republic, bears criminal and civil legal responsibility for the crimes committed by the Turkish army and armed groups loyal to the Turkish state.
The statement appealed to the peoples of the free world through civil society institutions, especially institutions concerned with human rights, to stand in solidarity with the people in north and east Syria by pressuring the governments of their countries to take serious positions regarding the crimes committed by the Turkish state against the region, and also stressed that the United States of America and the Russian Federation, as guarantors of the two cease-fire agreements between the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Turkish state for 2019, must fulfill their obligations stemming from those agreements, and put pressure on the Turkish state to stop its attacks.
‘Those who speak of humanity are by our side but do nothing’
The activities of the sit-in tent began with the participants standing for a minute of silence in honor of the souls of the martyrs, then the co-chair of the Democratic Society Movement for North and East Syria, Roken Ahmed, delivered a speech in which she indicated that the goal of the tent is to show the conscience of humanity, and said: “Because those who talk about human rights and justice today, They are by our side, but civilians and children are being targeted by the Turkish occupation in front of them without moving a finger.”
Emphasizing that the people of northern and eastern Syria should be fully prepared, “We must always come to this great tent, not only today, because we are in a state of war, and all components of northern and eastern Syria are required to resist and defend their lands according to the foundations of the people’s revolutionary war that It is not associated with the military.
Roken Ahmed added: “Every person who works in the military, political and cultural fields must do his work in the spirit of resistance, so that we can protect our homeland. The duty to protect is required of every person according to his field of work.”
She asked, “By what right does the Turkish occupation target our children in northern and eastern Syria, our children are the future generation, and we Kurds must be vigilant because we are in the age of peoples, and we are the Kurdish people who live in the region. If we are not vigilant, we will return to what we were before.”
Confronting the attacks of the Turkish occupation, Roken Ahmed stressed the solidarity of the people of northern and eastern Syria, saying: “If the people of northern and eastern Syria do not unite, we will not be able to defeat the enemy.”
For his part, a member of the Lawyers Union in Al-Jazeera region, Muhammad Al-Nuaimi, referred to the silence of the United Nations, saying: “Why do you not act in the face of the crimes committed by the Turkish occupation against the people of north and east Syria, who defended you and broke terrorism,” stressing, “We will not remain silent about this failure, we will break Your silence, and we will not abandon our people. We are the lawyers in the first trench and bearers of the banner of defending the people of north and east Syria and their rights. We believe in their rights, and the first backer of our military forces.”
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