41 organizations appeal to intervene to stop arbitrary trials against more than 90 Syrian kidnappers in Turkish prisons

41 Syrian human rights, humanitarian and civil organizations called on the United Nations and Human Rights' High Commissioner to immediately move to release the Syrian kidnapped who were transferred to Hilvan prison in Urfa province of Turkey, amid fears for their lives after the outbreak of the Corona pandemic and the fear of issuing unfair rulings against them.

The organizations appealed to intervene to stop the arbitrary trials against more than 90 Syrian kidnapped in the prisons of the Turkish occupation, and that through a joint statement sent to both the "Secretary-General of the United Nations; Mr. Antonio Guterres and the High Commissioner for Human Rights; Mrs. Michel Bachelet, as the text of their statement included the following:

"The Syrian organizations that signed this appeal express their great fear over the fate of more than 90 Syrian detainees who were transferred to the Turkish courts in the last months of 2019 after having spent different periods of detention on Syrian lands inside unofficial detention centers supervised by factions of the Syrian National Army of the Syrian coalition.

According to the information gathered and verified, the arrests took place specifically at the end of October and November of 2019, and were concentrated in the countryside of Tel Abyad / Girê Spî and Ras al-Ain / Serêkaniyê in the period immediately followed "the Spring of Peace" operation that began on October 9, 2019, which resulted in the occupation of the region by the Turkish forces, knowing that it affected Syrian citizens of different ethnic components, including “Arabs and Kurds”, and it was verified that a number of them were subjected to abuse and extracting confessions under pressure and coercion in Syria before being transferred to the Turkish territory.

In addition, confirmed information was obtained that the detainees were transferred to Hilvan closed prison in Urfa province in Turkey, transferred to Agir Ceza court, in addition to bringing the following charges against them:

Breaching the unity of the Turkish state.

An attempt to divide the country (Turkey).

Affiliation to an armed terrorist organization (the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the People Protection Units (YPG), etc)

Voluntary manslaughter.

The dates of their appearance before the court were postponed to an indefinite notice due to the outbreak of the Corona pandemic in Turkey, knowing that they were supposed to appear in court at the beginning of April 2020.

The transfer of Syrian citizens to the Turkish territory to appear before its courts without committing any crime on its lands or against its citizens or harming their property, and applying the laws of the Turkish state against them is considered a violation of international laws and norms. On the assumption that they have committed violations or crimes, then the Syrian courts have jurisdiction, not Turkish. Whereas the Turkish state is considered an occupying state, it must act in accordance with the obligations set forth in the four Geneva Conventions and its protocols of 1949, which prohibited the occupying state from the mass or individual forcible transfer of protected persons or exiling them from the occupied land to the territory of the occupation state or to the territories of any other country, occupied or not, whatever its motives  (Article 49 of the Fourth Convention).

Accordingly, the organizations that signed this appeal demand the following:

Putting pressure on the Turkish government to stop arbitrary trials of detainees who were transferred from Syria.

Allowing neutral and independent international committees and organizations to access detainees and find out the facts of the incident.

Allowing the families and relatives of the detainees to communicate with the detainees.

Releasing the detainees and returning them to the Syrian state's territory.

The organizations signed are the following:

The Kurdish Committee for Human Rights _ Observer

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression

The Kurdish Legal Body

Avrin Kurdish Women Association

Al-Helm Association

Judy Association for Development and Relief

Khunav Society for Development and Relief

Shawshka Women Association

Girkê Legê Charity Association

Dan Association for Development and Relief

Democratic Women Network

Peace Leaders Network

Human Rights Defense Initiative

Peace, Freedom for Civil Society and Human Rights Center

Center for Peace and Civil Society

Center for Equal Citizenship

Documentating Violations Center in North Syria

Sher Center for Community Development

Center for Human Rights Justice

Lekulin Center for Legal Studies and Research

Omid Center for Development and Civil Society Revival

Syrians Organization for Truth and Justice

Al-Hasakah Organization for Relief and Development

High Future Organization of Development

Amal Al-Baghouz Organization for Development

Basmet Amal Organization

Bell - Civil Waves Organization

Adopting International Revolution Organization

Tulip Organization for Women and Children Support

Human Rights Organization in al-Jazeera

Human Rights Organization in Syria - Mav

Human Rights Organization, Afrin, Syria

Roea Organization

Sara Organization of Combating Violence against Women

Ster Organization for Development

Sanabel al-Furat Humanitarian Organization

Tayf Organization

Ataa Organization for Development

Nabd Organization

Birati Foundation for Human Rights

Ezdina Foundation for Media and Human Rights

At the end of their statement, the organizations confirmed that they had documented 70 names of them with full information.


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