Southern Neighbourhood
Security and countering violence

The United Nations International Independent Commission on Syria released a daunting report on the human rights situation in Syria on Tuesday, September 15. 

The investigation, which was conducted between January 11 and July 1, 2020 revealed serious violations committed by all actors in the conflict throughout the Syrian territory. 

During the presentation of the report, the president of the Commission, Paulo Pinheiro, said, “there are no clean hands in this conflict”.

The UN investigations have, among other things, focused on the situation of the Kurdish regions in northern Syria; regions occupied by the Turks. Suspected of having committed war crimes, the Syrian National Army (SNA), supported by Turkey, is accused of kidnapping and rape charges against Kurdish women in the regions of Afrin and Ras El-Ain. 

In a detention center in Afrin, in the north of the country, investigators of the Commission found several cases of sexual violence against women and men. 

“On two occasions, ANS military police officers, apparently seeking to humiliate male detainees and to extract confessions and instill fear in them, forced male detainees to witness the rape of a minor”, the report said.

The UN International Independent Commission on Syria called on Turkey to assume its responsibilities “to ensure, as much as possible, public order and security, and to provide special protection for women and children.

The Turkish authorities were also called to respect the applicable obligations under human rights treaties with regard to all individuals present in the areas under their effective control.