HomeStatementsSDF Detains and Brutally Tortures an Elderly Man For Expressing His Opinion

SDF Detains and Brutally Tortures an Elderly Man For Expressing His Opinion

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A 70-year-old man Mudres Moushid Hammou Beerou, from Halnaj village, administratively affiliated with Ein al-Arab city in eastern rural Aleppo governorate, was abducted in the village on September 20, 2023, by personnel from the Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) al-Shabiba al-Thawriya, (Revolutionary Youth) faction, also known as the ‘Joanne Schurchkar’. Mudres was taken to an SDF detention center for participating in an anti-SDF demonstration held over the group raising fuel prices in areas under its control. The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) notes that Mudres was detained without any involvement from the SDF’s judiciary or the SDF internal security forces, which are the only two bodies with formal authority to detain and investigate individuals in SDF-held territories. Mudres was denied any opportunity to contact his family or a lawyer following his detention.

While the al-Shabiba al-Thawriya released Murdres Moushid Hammou Beerou the same day, SNHR has acquired a number of photos, now archived on our database, showing clear signs of brutal torture on different parts of his body, which were clearly the result of him being subjected to various methods of torture. The torture Beerou was subjected to resulted in multiple fractures to his right hand and foot. Beerou’s family transferred him to al-Amal Hospital in Ein al-Arab city to receive treatment.

International law strictly prohibits torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment. This has become a customary international rule that cannot be dismissed or balanced against other rights or values, even in times of emergencies. Violating the prohibition of torture is a crime in the eyes of international criminal law, according to which the individuals who gave the orders for torture or assisted in committing torture are criminally responsible for these practices.

SNHR condemns all these acts of abduction and torture by the SDF, which have significantly intensified recently. SNHR calls on the international coalition forces and states supporting the SDF to launch investigations and hold those responsible for gross human rights violations in the region of northeastern Syria accountable for their actions, particularly for this unconscionable incident. We also call for holding all those involved in this incident to account, from those who gave the orders to those who carried them out. The findings and results of these investigations and accountability processes must be made public to the Syrian people, and all those who have been involved in abduction and torture practices must be exposed and dismissed. Moreover, all the victims must be compensated for the material harm and psychological trauma they’ve suffered, and such impunity must be ended, with pressure being imposed on the SDF to end its detentions over expressions of opinion. Work must be done to reveal the fate of all those forcibly disappeared by the SDF, and all arbitrarily arrested detainees and abductees must be set free. There is also a need to establish an impartial and independent judiciary that prohibits military entities from carrying out arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearance on their own, along with mechanisms to hold those responsible for violations against local residents accountable for these actions.

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