The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

After two years of detention in Al-Hamza prison | “Al-Hamza Division” releases two sisters from Afrin, while the fate of other detained women remains unknown

Aleppo Province – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights:

Reliable sources have told the Syrian Observatory that the Turkish-backed “Al-Hamza Division” has released two sisters from Afrin, north-west of Aleppo, after two years of detention in Al-Hamza prisons for unknown reasons.

According to Syrian Observatory sources, the two sisters who were released, were kidnapped in June 2018 along with their father, whose fate remained unknown from the town of Afrin. They hail from the village of Korkan in rural Afrin.

The two sisters were identified as being held in the prisons of the “al-Hamza Division ” after they appeared in a video on May 29th this year, after gunmen from eastern Ghouta stormed the Division’s headquarters in Afrin. 11 women detained at the faction’s headquarters had appeared in the video, while the fate of detained women and girls in al-Hamza Division’s prisons is still unknown.

Therefore, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights calls on the international community to exert pressure on the Turkish government to disclose the fate of dozens of detainees in the prisons of Turkish-backed factions in the “Olive Branch” and “Peace Spring” areas.

On July 7, reliable sources revealed to the Syrian Observatory that a woman who disappeared months ago and was being held among the 11 female prisoners who were identified after appearing in the video while freeing them from Al-Hamza brigade’s prisons in Afrin area on May 29.

According to Observatory sources, the woman disappeared eight months ago, after she visited her husband, who was detained for two years in Azaz prison, north of Aleppo. She had demanded Turkish-backed factions the release of her husband. Her demand was met but after her disappearance, as the authorities released the husband 10 days after his wife disappeared, eight months ago. Her new place of detention remains unknown to date.

On May 29, SOHR sources reported that militants from rural Damascus freed detainees, including women from Afrin who had been held by Al-Hamza Division, from their headquarters after the Division’s gunmen were expelled.

The Syrian Observatory had obtained a video showing a number of women after being freed from the prisons of Turkish-backed factions in Afrin.

On the other hand, people from Damascus and countryside in the north of Syria issued a statement demanding the leadership of the “National Army” and the Turks remove all the headquarters of Al-Hamza Division from the city of Afrin, and hand over all those involved and be held accountable. They demanded a clarification why there were naked women in Al-Hamza prisons. The statement confirmed the presence of dozens of women inside the prison.