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Rights Report Counts Number of Arrested and Forcibly Disappeared at Hands of Syrian Democratic Forces

The Syrian Network for Human Rights has documented the use of child soldiers in the SDF and the forcible disappearance of civilians.
Rights Report Counts Number of Arrested and Forcibly Disappeared at Hands of Syrian Democratic Forces

Three thousand people are still under arrest or have been forcibly disappeared by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which operates in the Kurdish Self-Administration areas.

The SDF is putting pressure on civil society organizations and arresting activists through “repressive” tactics that resemble those of “extremist groups.”

The SDF has arrested at least 2,907 people, including 631 children and 172 women between July 2012 and September 2019, and has forcibly disappeared at least 1,877 of them.

According to the report, the SDF has also resorted to forced conscription under the pretext of fighting terrorism and extremism, which is a “tactic that to a large extent resembles what was done by the Syrian regime, which considered all those who oppose its policies and call for change in the ruling family … to be terrorists who need to be arrested and their voice repressed and made into a lesson for the rest of society.”

The SDF are not carrying out arrests legally, as they are not being carried out by people legally authorized or through arrest warrants. The prisoner also does not know what entity is arresting him or the reason for his arrest and is deprived of communication with his family and the outside world.

The SDF has faced rights criticism within the scope of its operations in the Kurdish areas of northeastern Syria, with the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International accusing the SDF of conscripting children and minors.

It has also signed an action plan with the United Nations in July that bans the conscription of children and demobilizes the boys and girls who are currently conscripted and separates them from the forces, as well as preventing and ending conscription of children under 18 years old.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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