​​​​​​​Violations against antiquities are crimes, perpetrators must be held accountable

Lawyer Esmat Ibrahim said that the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries' violations in the occupied territories against antiquities are considered war crimes under the international laws, stressing the need to hold the perpetrators accountable.

​​​​​​​Violations against antiquities are crimes, perpetrators must be held accountable
13 January 2021   02:42

The Turkish occupation and its mercenaries continue its violations in the occupied territories, not only against the people, but also against archaeological sites and public property.

Numerous reports documented those violations, including the theft of antiquities, moving and selling them in the Turkish black market, in addition to sabotaging archaeological sites, especially in Afrin canton.

The lawyer and a member of the Kobane Lawyer Union, Ismat Ibrahim referred to the moral and historical value of the archaeological sites, and said in this regard: “The Turkish state looks at their material value, because it wants to support its fallen economy.

Ibrahim emphasized that Turkey aims to eliminate the history of the Kurdish people, not only in Afrin, but in Rojava as a whole.

He explained that the international agreements and treaties protect antiquities, starting with the Hague Convention, up to the Geneva Convention, and “violating the laws is considered war crimes and financing terrorism,” as he put it.

Special provisions for the protection of property and antiquities during the armed conflict were formulated in the First Hague Convention of 1954, which stipulated in its fifth article, obliging any party occupies an area to take urgent measures to protect and preserve the antiquities and cultural property of that region.

In the text of the second Hague Convention of 1999 in Articles (12, 13 and 14), it is forbidden on the occupation authorities to export property and antiquities or to excavate the antiquities of occupied lands or transfer their ownership.

International law considers assaulting historical monuments a war crime, and international law has set many standards to protect historical archaeological areas, including that they should not be used and their surroundings for purposes of exposing them to destruction.

Ibrahim said, "Until now, Turkey has not adhered to any of the provisions stipulating the protection of antiquities before the eyes of the whole world."

Ibrahim pointed out that everything that Turkey does on the Syrian territories, "because it was entered according to the Adana Agreement, which has no credibility in the Syrian and Turkish parliament, not even in the United Nations," he said.

Lawyer Esmat Ibrahim stressed the need for "Erdogan and his mercenaries to be held accountable with the officers who work in the occupied territories, and to be tried according to international laws."


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