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US-backed SDF arrests and assault of civilians: SNHR

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attacked and humiliated civilians, including teachers and students from several local schools, as well as media personnel, in the city of Qamishli in the northeastern suburbs of Hasaka governorate, on September 28, 2022, while they were participating in a peaceful demonstration in front of the United Nations headquarters in Qamishli city’s al Siyahi neighborhood. 

The protest took place over a decision to ban the teaching of the same educational curriculum set by the Syrian regime’s government in schools located in areas under SDF control, and to close private schools and institutes using this curriculum.

SNHR documented the arrest/detention of at least 11 civilians who participated in the demonstration. The arrests were accompanied by verbal insults and beatings, with all of those detained being taken to an unknown destination.

The SNHR obtained video clips and photos that show carloads of SDF personnel storming the demonstration and then violently beating the protesters, in a policy clearly aimed at repressing and silencing the people by military force.

SNHR condemns the Syrian Democratic Forces’ detention of civilians and use of violence against protesting teachers, media workers, and students, which we consider to be a violation of their basic rights of peaceful expression of opinion, and calls for the protesters’ immediate release, for financial compensation to be paid to them, and for full atonement for the unjust arrest and trauma they have suffered.

SNHR also calls on the US-led Coalition forces and countries supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces to open investigations and hold those responsible accountable for their egregious violations of human rights in northeastern Syria, and to end the current state of complete impunity.


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