Home Human Rights Journalism Syria: 584 Persons Arrested in Afrin Over 2021

Syria: 584 Persons Arrested in Afrin Over 2021


Only 122 persons were released, while the fate of the other 461 remains unknown

by z.ujayli
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Throughout 2021, Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ) has documented arbitrary arrests every month across all seven districts in the Afrin region of Syria, which is currently occupied and controlled by Turkey and Turkey-backed armed opposition groups. Our detailed monthly reports, beginning in January and published monthly until November, provided the names of individuals, as well as additional identifying information such as age, hometown, place of arrest, and cause of arrest, who our researchers verified as being arrested by armed opposition groups.

The following report lists the total arrests STJ documented across Afrin in 2021, as well as provides detailed information about the individuals arrested in December.

584 People Arrested Throughout 2021

Over the course of 2021, STJ documented the arrest of a total of 584 persons in the Kurdish-majority Syrian region of Afrin. The arrested included 46 women and 16 male and female teenagers.

Tracking the fate of the detainees, STJ recorded the release of only 122 and the death of at least one of the incarcerated persons in detention facilities run by Turkey-backed Syrian armed opposition groups.

In addition to documenting arrests in Afrin, STJ thoroughly analyzed the cases, concluding that perpetrators carried out arrests mostly for political reasons, including cases where victims were arrested for the simple fact that they were Kurds. In other cases, perpetrators were motivated by money, holding detainees to blackmail them and force them into paying ransoms of varying amounts. Other perpetrators were motivated by plans for demographic-change, where they used detentions and the threat of detention to scare indigenous communities into leaving their homes.

While STJ successfully verified the victims’ names, surnames, dates, and locations of arrest, STJ failed to obtain information on the current whereabouts of the 461 persons still in custody as of the publication of this report.

The 584 detentions recorded in the report include only those detainees who were arrested and then relocated to detention centers supervised by security apparatuses like the Military Police. STJ identified that the groups making the arrests are chiefly armed opposition groups that maintain control over Afrin’s villages and towns.

In other words, the victims reported in this report do not include the detainees held in secret detention sites controlled by armed groups and whose detention was not made public through relocation to local security services’ centers. Given this discrepancy, STJ believes that the actual number of detainees is likely greater.

To corroborate information obtained by field researchers, STJ reached out to a reliable source from within the opposition Syrian National Army (SNA). The source confirmed that there are 1,350 detainees across the central prisons and the official detention centers run by the Syrian Interim Government (SIJ) in Afrin. The source added that the detainees are serving various sentences for criminal and non-criminal charges laid against them between 2018 and 2021.

Arrests in December 2021

Field researchers with STJ documented at least 55 arrests, among them five women and a teenager, across the region’s seven districts. The arrests were chiefly carried out by armed groups affiliated with the SNA. STJ obtained verified information demonstrating that only one person was released, while the remaining 54 continue to be unaccounted for.

The lists below are built on information obtained by STJ’s network of researchers, as well as the testimonies provided by civil sources, eyewitnesses, and sources from within the SNA, which STJ aggregates into a designated database.

Arrests in Afrin District

In Afrin district, the military factions in control of the area arrested 13 persons, including a woman and a teenager. Several detainees were located to centers operated by the Military Police. All 13 detainees remain unaccounted for.

  1. Muhammad Rashid Kubal, 55, was arrested on 1 December from the Sheikh Ballou village. His fate remains unknown.
  2. Toulin Ma’mou, 30, was arrested on 1 December from Afrin city. Her fate remains unknown.
  3. Jamal Jamil Ma’mou, 35, was arrested on 1 December from Afrin city. His fate remains unknown.
  4. Fadel al-Tabel, 45, was arrested on 2 December from Afrin city. His fate remains unknown.
  5. Omar Muhammad, 45, was arrested on 4 December from Afrin city. His fate remains unknown.
  6. Dilyar Ahmad, 15, was arrested on 6 December from Bassouta village. His fate remains unknown.
  7. Kawa Shamseddin was arrested on 8 December from Afrin city. His fate remains unknown.
  8. Dilyar Batal Batal, 27, was arrested on 21 December from Maratah village. His fate remains unknown.
  9. Heimar Muhammad Qlaij, 27, was arrested on 21 December from Maratah village. His fate remains unknown.
  10. Muhammad Ahmad Ayoubi, 27, was arrested on 21 December from Maratah village. His fate remains unknown.
  11. Ali Muhammad Ibrahim, 26, was arrested on 21 December from Maratah village. His fate remains unknown.
  12. Hassan Ibrahim Khalil was arrested on 28 December from Kawanda village. His fate remains unknown.
  13. Mustafa Nasser Hikmeh, 50, was arrested on 30 December from Tarandat/Turindê village. His fate remains unknown.
Arrests in Rajo District

In Rajo district, military factions arrested eight persons, including two women. Several detainees were relocated to centers operated by the Military Police. All eight detainees remain unaccounted for.

  1. Riyad Adnan Rashid, 25, was arrested on 1 December from Rajo town. His fate remains unknown.
  2. Hussein Ahmad Na’ssan, 39, was arrested on 1 December from Shadya village. His fate remains unknown.
  3. Hajar Muhammad Koulin, 26, was arrested on 2 December from Ba’dina village. His fate remains unknown.
  4. Nawal Anwar Na’ssan, 25, was arrested on 4 December from Rajo town. Her fate remains unknown.
  5. Hussein Sido Khalil, 45, was arrested on 12 December from Mahmadli village. His fate remains unknown.
  6. Rashid Mannan Sido was arrested on 17 December from Kamarsheh village. His fate remains unknown.
  7. Ali Hassan, 50, was arrested on 26 December from Dudiah village. His fate remains unknown.
  8. Silin Hassan, 21, was arrested on 26 December from Dudiah village. Her fate remains unknown.
Arrests in Bulbul District

In Bulbul district, the Military Police arrested four persons, among them a woman. All four remain unaccounted for.

  1. Hayat Subhi, 23, was arrested on 1 December from Ali Karou village. Her fate remains unknown.
  2. Muhammad Nouri Qadmou, 35, was arrested on 2 December from Sahra/Zaara village. His fate remains unknown.
  3. Hannan Bilal, 40, was arrested on 20 December from Bandark village. His fate remains unknown.
  4. Ali Muhammad Khalil, 38, was arrested on 20 December from Bandark village. His fate remains unknown.
Arrests in Maabatli/Mabeta District

In Maabatli/Mabeta district, the Military Police arrested 10 persons. All 10 continue to be unaccounted for.

  1. Ahmad Aziz Alo, 23, was arrested on 1 December from Mīrkān village. His fate remains unknown.
  2. Abdo Hasiko was arrested on 1 December from Mīrkān village. His fate remains unknown.
  3. Walat Haj Ali, 38, was arrested on 1 December from Mīrkān village. His fate remains unknown.
  4. Ruzkar Fawzi Akash was arrested on 3 December from Kakhra village. His fate remains unknown.
  5. Nidal Ahmad was arrested on 12 December from Maabatli village. His fate remains unknown.
  6. Jihad Muhammad Mansour, 45, was arrested on 12 December from Şorbe/Shurba village. His fate remains unknown.
  7. Farid Mustafa Ahmad, 48, was arrested on 12 December from Amara village. His fate remains unknown.
  8. Mustafa Bayram, 35, was arrested on 12 December from Shekhotka/Şêxûtka village. His fate remains unknown.
  9. Muhammad Hassan Hajji was arrested on 26 December from Moubata village. His fate remains unknown.
  10. Abdin Izat Fula was arrested on 29 December from Maabatli village. His fate remains unknown.
Arrests in Sharran District

 In Sharran district, the Military Police arrested five persons. Only one was released. The other four remain unaccounted for.

  1. Rashid Hourou, 20, was arrested on 1 December from Dair Sawan/ Dayr Şawwān village. His fate remains unknown.
  2. Mousa Khalil Abdulrahman, 62, was arrested on 1 December from Dair Sawan/ Dayr Şawwān village. His fate remains unknown.
  3. Hussni Muhammad Sheikh Muhammad, 30, was arrested on 2 December from Midankey‎ village. His fate remains unknown.
  4. Furat Zaza, 25, was arrested on 10 December from Alji‎ His fate remains unknown.
  5. Fathi Muhammad Ali was arrested on 22 December from Ma’arkaseh village. He was subsequently released.
Arrests in Jindires District

In Jindires district, several of the military factions operating across the district arrested three persons. All detainees remain unaccounted for.

  1. Farid Ismat Hamou was arrested on 2 December from Ashkan village. His fate remains unknown.
  2. Idris Muhammad Baker was arrested on 2 December from Ashkan village. His fate remains unknown.
  3. Asad Muhammad Ali Haider was arrested on 4 December from Hamam village. His fate remains unknown.
Arrests in Shaykh al-Hadid District

In Shaykh al-Hadid district, the Military Police arrested 12 persons. All detainees remain unaccounted for.

  1. Rouhat Nouri Ebo, 22, was arrested on 2 December from Kourzaleh village. Her fate remains unknown.
  2. Munzer Muhammad Ali was arrested on 8 December from Faftertin village. His fate remains unknown.
  3. Jumaa Hassan Hanou was arrested on 8 December from Faftertin village. His fate remains unknown.
  4. Suleiman Zaki Mustafa was arrested on 9 December from al-Ghazawiya village. His fate remains unknown.
  5. Batal Muhammad Nour Kaifo was arrested on 9 December from al-Ghazawiya village. His fate remains unknown.
  6. Rinas Bahri Kaifo was arrested on 9 December from al-Ghazawiya village. His fate remains unknown.
  7. Jamil Ahmad Brimo, 33, was arrested on 9 December from al-Ghazawiya village. His fate remains unknown.
  8. Zaradasht Abdulaziz Brimo, 33, was arrested on 9 December from al-Ghazawiya village. His fate remains unknown.
  9. Ocalan Khalil Shawti was arrested on 30 December from Faftertin village. His fate remains unknown.
  10. Hussein Khalil Shawti was arrested on 30 December from Faftertin village. His fate remains unknown.
  11. Jasim Muhammad Qasmo was arrested on 30 December from Faftertin village. His fate remains unknown.
  12. Omar Diyab Diyab was arrested on 30 December from Faftertin village. His fate remains unknown.

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