المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Human rights organizations call on the international community and international organizations to apply international conventions and agreements in dealing with war prisoners and the use of internationally banned weapons since the first day of the Turkish aggression in the Syrian north

Since the first day of the Turkish aggression against areas of the Syrian north with flimsy and false pretexts that have no ground and no legal basis, contrary to the Charter of the United Nations, in particular Article (2) of it which obliges all states to respect the sovereignty of other member states and to refrain from using force against territorial integrity, and the political independence of another member state of the United Nations.

The Turkish State unleashed its mercenary escorts of the remnants of ISIS and al-Nusra who are under the name of the Syrian National Army, of which the Syrian National Coalition is its political umbrella, and they have been able to spread terror among innocent civilians, by committing heinous crimes against them in front of the world, these are crimes that rise to war crimes as defined by the Charter of the Nuremberg International Military Court of 1945, and Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998, such as the intentional killing and ill-treatment of civilians, the killing of hostages, the looting of private property, and field executions, as in the case of the execution of the politician woman Hefrin Khalaf and several of her companions on the 12th of this month, and other offences such as the use of internationally prohibited weapons, prohibited by the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868, and also the degrading and ill-treatment of war prisoners in violation of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Protocol attached to it in 1977, in particular, article 4-3, which imposes on the state that hold the prisoners to “humanely treat prisoners of war to protect them from all acts of violence, intimidation, insults, and public curiosity”.

Perhaps the most striking example of this degrading and inhuman treatment by the Turkish occupying country and its mercenaries for prisoners of war; is what happened with the captive Jijek Kobani, who was photographed and threatened by the armed groups to be slaughtered in front of the world, in addition to swearing and insulting her, in contrast to article 14 of the 3rd Geneva Convention, which states: “Prisoners of war have a right to respect them and their honor in all cases, and women prisoners must be treated with all due consideration of their gender, and in any case they must receive treatment no less appropriate than that of a man.”

Therefore, we the signatories below, hold the Turkish occupation state and its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the Major General Salim Idris who is the commander-in-chief of the so-called Syrian National Army, and the Major Yasser Abdul Rahim who is the leader of the faction that detained the female captive; we legally hold them responsible fully of the war crimes committed, and continue to be committed in the northeast of Syria against the safe civilians of intentional killing, field executions, the use of internationally prohibited weapons, and the degrading non-humane treatment of captives according to the Article 12 of the 3rd Geneva Convention: “Prisoners of war fall under the authority of the hostile State, not under the authority of individuals or military units that have captured them, other than the individual responsibilities that may exist; the detaining State is responsible for the treatment of the prisoners.”

Therefore, we hold Turkey responsible for the safety of lives of the captives Jijek Kobani, and other prisoners males and females, and we call it to immediately release them and return them to their homes, due to the end of the military operations in accordance with Article 4 of the 3rd Geneva Convention, and at the same time, we call on the ICRC to fulfil its responsibilities under international law in intervening, monitoring, and treating prisoners and demand to release them.

26/10/2019

Signatories:

  1. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
  2. Kurdish Legal Authority
  3. Justice Center for Human Rights
  4. Association for the Defense of Threatened Peoples
  5. Human Rights organization in Syria (MAF)
  6. Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Austria
  7. Commission on Human Rights in Syria (MAF)
  8. Mehabad Human Rights Organization
  9. Violations Documentation Center in the Syrian north
  10. Kurds Without Borders
  11. Ezdina Foundation for monitoring human rights violations.
  12. The Kurdish Association Hifi – Belgium
  13. Salam Organization for Human rights in Geneva
  14. The Yazidi Foundation
  15. Kurdish Commission for Human Rights in Syria (Monitor)
  16. Kurdish organization for Human Rights in Syria (DAD)

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