By Syrian Democratic Times

Sinam Sherkany Mohamad, Co-Chief of the US Mission of the Syrian Democratic Council, presented at two panels to highlight the human rights violations occurring in North and East Syria, especially in Afrin. She spoke at a webinar hosted by the US-based Friends of Afrin Collective on June 25, 2020, and the “Kurds in Rojava” event hosted by the Kurdish National Congress of North America (KNCNA) on June 27, 2020. In addition to being an official of the Syrian Democratic Council, Mohamad is a Kurdish woman from the city of Afrin.

Issues related to the Kurdish-Kurdish dialogue, as well as other issues related to the unity of Kurds, was the main topic of discussion at the event hosted by the Kurdish National Congress of North America.

“As we have the Kurdish-Kurdish dialogue, we will have the Syrian-Syrian dialogue, we will have the Arab-Arab dialogue,” said Mohamad during the KNCNA event.

Mohamad addressed the progress of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES). “Building such an administration, it was not an easy thing. It was not so easy to build such things during the war and conflict, so we had a lot of challenges there. But we could overcome many of them,” said Mohamad. “I don’t claim perfection here, but we are doing our best to reach, and to improve.”

“If you have a democratic Syria, you will have a democratic Rojava, and you will have your rights as a Kurd,” said Mohamad. “This is the project we are working on, decentralization all over Syria.”

The Friends of Afrin collective event was primarily focused on Afrin and the other areas of Syria occupied by Turkey. Panelists included representatives of the Yezidi community as well as Mohamad.

“Human rights should be a top issue for everyone,” stated Mohamad at the Friends of Afrin Collective webinar. “Wherever there is a political solution, the human rights issues will be solved… Why is everyone turning a blind eye to that? This is a political issue.”

Mohamad and the other panelists at the Friends of Afrin Collective webinar discussed at length the human rights violations being committed by Turkey and Turkish-backed militias, against Kurds and Yezidis. Mohamad addressed the atrocities towards women in Afrin, including the recent revelations of women kept in a jail in Afrin by the Hamzat militia. Along with the other panelists, she spoke of the killings, the burning of olive trees and forests, theft, kidnappings, holding hostages for ransom, and other genocidal policies. She and other panelists discussed the cultural destruction of the Kurdish and Yezidi people of Afrin, including children being forced to learn the Turkish language and culture, Kurdish and Yezidi people being forced from their homes, and the desecration of Yezidi villages.

Mohamad called upon the international community to intervene to stop Turkish war crimes and end the Turkish occupation of Syria.

“The United Nations should stop Turkey from creating these atrocities in the region. And in order to stop that, we have to ask Turkey to withdraw from the region, withdraw from Afrin,” said Mohamad. “Nobody has taken a real step in order to stop Turkey, in order to stop all these atrocities… It is the responsibility of the international community.”